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Saudi Arabia Loses G20 Showcase as Pandemic Forces it to go Virtual
Leaders of the G20 major economies are holding an online summit on March 26, in a bid to fend off a coronavirus-triggered recession, after criticism the group has been slow to address the crisis. (Photo by Gary Ramage / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GARY RAMAGE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia Loses G20 Showcase as Pandemic Forces it to go Virtual

The leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies will convene this weekend for a virtual session of the annual G-20 summit, where the most powerful statesmen on the globe discuss an array of pressing geopolitical issues. The summit, initially scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia as part of a rotating host system, will instead be conducted online, a blow to Riyadh’s hopes of showcasing to the world its lavish and luxurious cities and technological prowess. Several European and American lawmakers and human rights groups have called on forum members to boycott the event as a statement against Saudi Arabia’s continued involvement in the Yemen civil war, its reported human and civil rights abuses and the palace’s role in the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The mayors of Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles have announced they will not attend the event in protest. Item one on the summit’s agenda will be global response to the deteriorating economic and health crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organization has called on the participating nations to outline a plan for the rapid distribution of vaccines, tests and drugs, while the issue of debt relief for countries stricken hardest by the virus will also be discussed.

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today as we have a most generous matching 2:1 grant.
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