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News18 » India
1-min read

Day After Modi’s Appeal for SAARC-like Video Conference, Saudi Arabia Follows Suit With Virtual G20 Meet

Saudi Arabia announced it would bring together leaders from the Group of 20 major economies to address the global coronavirus crisis and discuss policies to safeguard the global economy.

News18.com

Updated:March 18, 2020, 10:07 AM IST
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Day After Modi’s Appeal for SAARC-like Video Conference, Saudi Arabia Follows Suit With Virtual G20 Meet
File photo of PM Narendra Modi with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in New Delhi. (Image: AP)

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed India's initiative of organising a video conference among SAARC countries on the Coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said it would convene a virtual summit of G20 leaders on the issue.

In what is being largely seen as a diplomatic win for Modi, Saudi Arabia announced it would bring together the leaders from the Group of 20 major economies (G20) to address the global crisis. The G20 leaders will put forward a coordinated set of policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy.

The summit, Saudi Arabia said, will build on efforts by finance ministers and bank governors from the G20, as well as senior health, trade and foreign ministries to determine the much needed steps in fighting the pandemic.

In a telephonic conversation on Tuesday, PM Modi discussed with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince the need for coordinated efforts to address the global challenge arising out of the coronavirus outbreak.

He also mentioned about India's recent initiative to organise a video conference among SAARC countries on the pandemic, and the two leaders agreed that a similar exercise at the level of G20 leaders would be useful at a global scale.

The exercise can be used to discuss specific measures to address the challenges posed by the global outbreak of COVID-19 and also to instil confidence in the global population, Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

The US on Tuesday praised India for proposing “practical solutions” to contain the spread of COVID-19 by involving the SAARC leaders.

“Global challenges require coordinated and agile responses. The recent videoconference among #SAARC leaders on #COVID19 showed how leaders can present practical proposals, such as establishing a regional fund. Let’s all keep working together to fight this worldwide outbreak,” tweeted Alice G. Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Russia also hailed PM Modi’s initiative by calling the SAARC video-conference as “timely”.

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