RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called on Thursday for G20 leaders to boost funding for a coronavirus vaccines, resume the normal flow of goods and services as soon as possible, and help developing countries overcome the global health crisis.
His remarks came at the opening of an extraordinary video conference convened by the world’s major economies to coordinate action over the outbreak and its economic impacts, as worldwide exceeded 470,000 with more than 21,000 dead.
‘We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy’, the king said.
‘On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies’.
The G20, currently chaired by Saudi Arabia, has faced criticism of a slow response to the worsening crisis, which is expected to trigger a global recession.
Some member countries have announced economic stimulus package to offset broad suspensions of air travel and shutdowns of many businesses.
But there are growing concerns about protectionist measures being discussed or adopted as countries scramble to respond. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged G20 leaders to match a pledge by countries like Australia and Canada to keep supply chains open and avoid export controls.
World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was to address the G20 to seek support for ramping up funding and productions of personal protection equipment for health workers amid a global shortage.
‘We have a global responsibility as humanity and especially those countries like the G20’, Tedros told a news conference in Geneva late on Wednesday. ‘They should be able to support countries all over the world’.
King Salman urged cooperation in financing research and development for therapeutics and a vaccine, ensuring for availability of vital medical supplies and equipment, and helping less developed countries build capacities.
Despite calls for cooperation, the 90 – minute call risked entanglement in an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and tensions between the United States and China over the origin of the virus.
In preparatory meetings, Beijing and Washington agreed to call a timeout on their coronavirus blame game, the South China Morning Post reported, citing diplomatic sources.
But talks among U.N. Security Council nations have stalled over U.S. insistence that any joint statement call attention to the coronavirus’ origins in China, NBC News reported. Outbreaks, which began in central China late last year, have been reported in 196 countries.
‘The U.S. – China dynamic in pivotal to successful G20 coordination, never more so than now as countries grapple 24/7 to confront and contain a pandemic we do not yet fully understand’, former acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro said.
Meanwhile, Washingron may use the summit to launch a debate about ending an oil prince war between Riyadh and Moscow that has pushed crude prices to near 20-year lows as the pandemic destroyed global demand, the Wall Street Journal reported.
ATHENS, Greece – Greece lifted COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday for foreign and domestic flights, its civil aviation authority said, ahead of the summer tourism season that officials hope will see revenues bouncing back from the pandemic slump. To fly in or out of the country, travellers were previously required to show either a vaccination certificate, … More Greece Lifts COVID Curbs For Travellers Ahead Of Key Summer Season
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will discuss the possibility of supporting the kingdom’s $3 billion deposit in Pakistan’s central bank bank by extending its term ‘or through other options’, a joint statement carried by Saudi State News Agency SPA said on Sunday. Last year, Saudi Arabia deposited $3 billion in Pakistan’s central bank … More Saudi, Pakistan To Discuss Possible Support For Kingdom’s $3 Billion Deposit
PARIS, France – Jordan’s King Abdullah returned home on Tuesday from Germany after a successful operation for a slipped disc, the royal palace said. The king flown 10 days ago to a specialist hospital in Frankfurt after suffering severe back pain that required urgent surgery, doctors said.
PARIS, France – Yemen’s president delegated power to a presidential council and dismissed his deputy on Thursday in moves aimed at supporting U.N. – led efforts to revive negotiations to end a bitter seven – year war. Riyadh announced $3 billion in financial aid to the Saudi – backed government after the announcement by President … More Yemen President Cedes Powers To Council As Saudi Arabia Pushes To End War
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of State Security warned citizens and residents in the Kingdom against donating to strangers, nothing that such practices increase the probability of financing terrorism. ‘[Random strangers] may be more dangerous than you think’, the Presidency of State Security said in a statement on Twitter, urging people to only make … More Saudi Authorities Warn Against Donating To Strangers Due To Terrorism Financing
PARIS, France – Jordan’s Prince Hamzah Bin Al – Hussein is relinquishing his title of prince, he said in a statement. Prince Hamza, a former heir to the throne, was accused last year of conspiring to destabilize the monarchy in a foreign – inspired plot. Prince Hamzah posted the statement on his official Twitter account, … More Jordan’s Prince Hamzah Relinquishes Royal Title
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Formula One’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, organizers said on Friday following attacks on a facility owned by oil giant Aramco near the racetrack in Jeddah. Yemen’s Iran – backed Houthis said they launched attacks on Saudi energy facilities on Friday and the Arab coalition said Aramco’s … More Saudi Arabian Grand Prix To Go Ahead As Planned, Say Organizers
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia has resumed issuing visas on arrival for holders of valid U.S., U.K. and Schengen visas if they qualify for an e – visa, state news agency (SPA) reported on Friday. The decision which allows any of these visa holders to ger a 12 – month tourist visa upon arrival to … More Saudi Arabia Resumes Visa On Arrival For US, UK, Schengen Valid Visa Holders
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Yemen’s Houthis said they launched attacks on Saudi energy facilities on Friday and the Saudi – led coalition said oil giant Aramco’s petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah was hit, causing a fire in two storage tanks but no causalities. A huge plume of black smoke could be seen rising over … More Saudi Aramco Storage Facility Targeted By Houthi Attack, Causing Fire
WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to Bahrain of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems Upgrade and related equipment for an estimated cost of $176 million, the Pentagon said on Thursday. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release.
PARIS, France – The French Foreign Ministry has promised 500,000 euros ($548,715) of financing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to support the investigation into cimes committed in Ukraine, it said in a statement on Wednesday. France will also be providing magistrates, investigators and experts, ‘to make sure the prosecutor can lead his investigation in … More France Promises Funding To International Criminal Court To Investigate Crimes In Ukraine
PARIS, France – In a video message posted to Facebook Wednesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Russians and told them, ‘save your sons from the war’. Zelensky said Ukraine had never threatened the security of Russia, adding that Russian propagandists ‘lie about the war, which is paid for by your taxes’. Ukrainians, he said, … More Zelensky Tells Russians: ‘Save Your Sons From The War’
PARIS, France – Russia plans to switch its gas sales to ‘unfriendly’ countries to roubles, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, responding to a freeze on Russia’s assets by foreign nations over events in Ukraine that he said had destroyed Moscow’s trust. European countries’ dependence on Russia gas and other exports has been thrown into … More Putin Says Russia Will Switch Gas Sales To Roubles For ‘Unfriendly’ Countries
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia said it would not bear responsibility for any shortage in oil supplies to global market in light after recent attacks by Yemen’s Iran – aligned Houthis on Saudi oil facilities, Saudi state news agency (SPA) reported on Monday. The Houthis fires missiles and drones at Saudi energy and water desalination … More Saudi Not Responsible For Any Oil Shortage After Houthi Attacks, SPA Says
PARIS, France – – The Russian invasion of Ukraine could worsen the food crisis in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. – based Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned in a statement Monday. ‘Both Ukraine and Russia are leading exports of agricultural products to many Middle Eastern and North African countries, and disruptions related … More Invasion Could Worsen Food Crisis In The Middle East And North Africa, Says Human Rights Watch
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi – led coalition said early on Sunday that Yemen’s Iran – aligned Houthi group launched missile and drone strikes on energy and water desalination facilities in the kingdom that caused some material damage but no deaths. It said the attacks were at a water desalination plant in Al – … More Houthis Launch Attacks On Saudi Energy, Desalination Facilities – Coalition
PARIS, France – Twitter said Wednesday that its interventions against Russian state media have successfully limited the reach of that content, reducing it by 30% on the platform. The announcement follows Twitter’s effort late last month to curb users’ sharing of Russian state media content. At the time, Twitter said that users had been sharing … More Twitter’s Restrictions On Russian State Media Have Successfully Limited Reach Of Content
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz left a hospital in Riyadh after undergoing medical tests and replacement of his heart pacemaker battery, the royal court said on Wednesday. State television aired a video clip of the 86 – year – old monarch walking using a cane with his son Crown Prince Mohammed … More Saudi King Receives New Pacemaker Battery, Leaves Hospital – Royal Court
BUCHAREST, Romania – Pakistan sent two C-130 planes of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine Tuesday night, according to Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Speaking at Noor Khan Airbase in the Pakistani capital as the planes departed, Quereshi said the aid was sent at the request of the Ukrainian Embassy in Islamabad. The aid includes tents, … More Pakistan Sends Emergency Aid To Ukraine
LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as part of efforts to secure additional oil flows and increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. With Britain, like much of the West, facing spiralling energy prices, Johnson is keen to encourage producers to increase … More UK PM Johnson Seeks Additional Oil Flows IN UAE, Saudi
PARIS, France – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa discussed in a phone call the ‘importance of solving conflicts by diplomatic means’, an adviser to the king said on Twitter on Tuesday. Bahrain is a close ally to Saudi Arabia which is, alongside Russia, one of the world’s top … More Putin, Bahrain King Discuss Importance Of Diplomatic Solutions – King’s Adviser
PARIS, France – France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States issued a joint statement commemorating the 11th anniversary of the conflict in Syria, and condemned Russia’s role both there and in its invasion of Ukraine. ‘The coincidence of this year’s anniversary with the appalling Russian aggression against Ukraine, which contributes a breach of exceptional … More Five Western Countries Condemn Russia’s Role In Syria, Ukraine Conflicts
Paris, France – Oil Prices rebounded on Thursday after the United Arab Emirates said it is committed to major producers’ pact to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply monthly, hours after UAE’s ambassador to Washington said his country favoured a bigger increase. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped more than $3 shortly … More Oil Jump After UAE Says It Is Committed To OPEC+ Supply Pact
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al – Sisi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday where he was welcomed by the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival to the airport, the Saudi foreign ministry announced.
PARIS, France – The White House announced new sanctions on Russian oligarchs Thursday, in U.S. President Joe Biden’s latest attempt to squeeze Russian President Vladimir Putin as the invasion of Ukraine advances. The new list of individuals described as ‘Putin’s cronies and their family members’ will be cut off from the U.S. financial system, their … More The White House Announced New Sanctions On Russian Oligarchs. Here’s Who Will Be Impacted
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, and he offered to make efforts to mediate talks between Moscow and Kyiv as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. Bin Salman said his country support ‘efforts that lead to a political solution that … More Saudi Arabia Offers To Mediate Talks Between Russia And Ukraine
MILAN, Italy – The relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States is going through ‘a stress test’, Emirati envoy to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba, said on Thursday, but added that he was confident the close partners would ‘get out of it’. The UAE has tried to remain neutral between Western allies and … More Ties Between UAE, U.S. Undergoing Stress Test, UAE Envoy Says
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia intends to continue ‘detailed talks’ with Iran in order to reach a satisfactory agreement for both, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, while stressing the need for a strong nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers at talks in Vienna. He said in remarks to The Atlantic carried by Saudi … More Saudi Arabia Hopes To Reach Agreement With Iran – Crown Prince
PARIS, France – Russian president Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that he will continue military operations in Ukraine during a 90 – minute call initiated by Putin, an Elysee Palace source told reporters at a briefing on Thursday. ‘This conversation is unfortunately an occasion to hear that President Putin will continue military … More Putin Told Macron He Will Continue War In Ukraine, According To Elysee Palace Source
PARIS, France – Seven Russian banks have been removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging service that connects financial institutions around the world. In a statement Wednesday, SWIFT said ‘Diplomatic decisions taken by the European Union, in consultation with the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, bring SWIFT into … More Seven Russian Banks Removed From SWIFT