Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia to host G20 summit virtually from Saturday

Filed on November 21, 2020 | Last updated on November 21, 2020 at 01.03 am
"Family Photo" for annual G20 Summit World Leaders is projected onto Salwa Palace in At Turaif, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, November 20, 2020.


King Salman will chair the major global summit, which takes place over two days.

Saudi Arabia is gearing up to host world leaders — albeit virtually due to the coronavirus crisis — for the two-day G20 Leaders' Summit, beginning on Saturday.

The summit will be chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and attended by heads of state of G20 members and guest countries as well as heads of international organisations.

Those present will discuss issues of global importance and how to tackle them.

The coronavirus pandemic will, unsurprisingly, be top of the agenda for those at the summit.

The G20 leaders will also address issues to pave the way to a more inclusive, more sustainable, and more resilient economic recovery and laying the foundations for a better future.

As a G20 member and the chair of the 2020 G20, hosting this high-level meeting is historic for Saudi Arabia, showcasing the results of the ongoing transformational Saudi Vision 2030 reflected in its presidency.

The Leaders’ Summit will be the second meeting of G20 leaders under the Saudi presidency, following the Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit in March 2020 that agreed on immediate actions in response to the pandemic. This will be the first time a presidency has held two leaders’ summit within one presidency term.

Saudi Gazette said the aims of the Saudi G20 presidency focus on empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Arabia's King Salman agreed in a phone call to improve bilateral ties and solve outstanding disputes through dialogue, the Turkish presidency said early on Saturday.

Saudi state news agency SPA reported late on Friday that the king called Erdogan to coordinate efforts exerted within the work of the G20 summit.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been at odds for some years over foreign policy and attitudes towards Islamist political groups. The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 sharply escalated tensions.

For more than a year, some Saudi and Turkish traders have speculated that Saudi Arabia was enforcing an informal boycott of imports from Turkey. Turkey's leading business groups urged Saudi Arabia last month to improve trade relations.

"President Erdogan and King Salman agreed to keep channels of dialogue open to improve bilateral ties and overcome issues," the Turkish presidency said in a statement, adding the two men had also discussed the G20 summit.

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