G20 leaders meet online to grapple with Covid-19 fallout Nov 22, 2020 0 528 12345 dpaCairo Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies gathered online on Saturday for an annual summit focusing on tackling economic repercussions from the coronavirus pandemic and potential access to vaccines against the virus.The two-day summit is hosted by Saudi Arabia, the current president of the bloc. Saudi King Salman opened the event, calling on the G20 leaders to address the vulnerabilities resulting from the pandemic. “In the near future, we must address vulnerabilities exposed by this crisis while protecting lives and livelihoods,” he said.Salman called for coordinated support for developing countries suffering from economic fallout, saying that this was crucial in maintaining the development they had achieved over past decades.“This pandemic has wrought economic and social losses ... But we will do our utmost to overcome this crisis through international cooperation,” he added via a videoconference.Salman, 84, stopped several times to clear his throat in his 10-minute address. In July, the ruler of the world’s top oil exporter, left a hospital in Riyadh after undergoing surgery to remove his gall bladder. In March, the G20 leaders vowed to coordinate their response to the pandemic. Since then, they have collectively injected 11 trillion dollars to mitigate the impact on the global economy.The group has also launched a debt suspension initiative for the least developed countries that would allow the beneficiaries to defer 14 billion dollars in debt payments due this year.On Saturday, the Saudi king also called for a Covid-19 vaccine to be made accessible to all people in a “fair manner and at affordable cost,” a point that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also emphasized in his address. The G20 needs to “prepare mechanisms that will guarantee a fair access and affordable use of the vaccine for everyone,” Erdogan said.Turkey is following closely the “promising” vaccine development by a German firm, he added, in a reference to BioNTech, which is cooperating with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on a vaccine. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Pfizer/BioNTech file for emergency approval for virus vaccine Nov 22, 2020 0 414 Trump’s son Don Jr tests positive for Covid-19 Nov 22, 2020 0 403 ‘Numbers don’t lie:’ Walls close in on defiant Trump Nov 22, 2020 0 47 Hong Kong, Singapore travel bubble popped by virus spike Hong Kong: A planned travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was scrapped a day before its launch on Saturday after the southern Chinese city announced a sudden spike in coronavirus cases. The decision is both a blow .. Twitter to hand @POTUS account to Biden on inauguration day Washington: Twitter confirmed on Saturday it will hand control of the presidential @POTUS account to Joe Biden when he is sworn in on inauguration day, even if President Donald Trump has not conceded his election loss. .. Erdogan urges dialogue with EU, says Turkey’s future in Europe Istanbul: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called on the European Union for dialogue, warning the bloc not to become a tool for enmity during escalating tensions over the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s .. Demonstrations held in France against planned security law dpa Paris Several thousand people demonstrated against a planned security law in France on Saturday, with protests taking place in Paris, Lille and Montpellier. The draft legislation, which was passed in part by the ..