NEW DELHI: India is an important asset for the international and regional fight against coronavirus and in minimising its impact on the health of global community, Saudi Arabia, the chair of the G20 grouping, said on Friday.
In an interview to PTI, Saudi Arabia's envoy to India Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati also assured that the Gulf nation is taking care of the safety of expatriates in the kingdom on priority.
His remarks come days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, and emphasised the need for coordinated efforts to address the global challenge arising out of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Saudi Arabia views India as an important strategic partner. India is an important asset to international and regional integrated efforts to deal with the current situation and minimize its impact on the health of global community. We are working closely with the Indian government in this regard," the envoy said.
Al Sati said that during the call, Crown Prince Salman affirmed that the Kingdom is working to coordinate international cooperation in combating this pandemic and adopting appropriate policies to reduce its economic burdens within the framework of the G-20.
Saudi Arabia, that now has G20 presidency, is communicating with member countries to convene an extraordinary virtual G20 Leaders' Summit next week, he said.
The summit will be aimed at advancing a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its human and economic implications and will build on the ongoing efforts of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, senior health, trade, and foreign affairs officials, he said.
Al Sati said that Saudi Arabia and India, as members of the G20 and longstanding strategic partners, will work closely to gather global cooperation in dealing with the coronavirus situation. Officials on both sides will work closely towards this cause, he added.
"The current situation with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic necessitates an international and coordinated response. The Kingdom is committed to working with international organisations and members of G20 to control and reduce the spread of the virus, protect people, mitigate its effects on the economy, and take the necessary measures to maintain the stability of the world economy," he said.
G20 countries are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor the outbreak, share relevant information, encourage preventive measures, early case detection, and clinical care, he said.
The health officials of G20 members met earlier this month to discuss the health and social impact of coronavirus and other infectious diseases, he pointed out.
Moreover, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have agreed to use all available policy tools, including fiscal and monetary measures as appropriate to deal with the global pandemic, the envoy said.
"We extend our support to the IMF and World Bank commitments to extend financing to developing countries that need it and invite countries to strengthen funding facilities," Al Sati said.
"As an effort in this direction, Saudi Arabia has provided $10,000,000 to the World Health Organization for the implementation of urgent measures to minimise the spread of the disease and to support countries with vulnerable health infrastructures, an effort that has been commended by WHO and the global community," he said.
Asked about the situation faced by a large number of Indians living in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, he said that his country, after closely following the developments related to the spread of coronavirus, has adopted several temporary, precautionary measures affecting travel to and from the Kingdom.Read More – Source