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Moon to Saudi leader: G-20 teleconference plan timely amid COVID-19 crisis

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks on the phone with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks on the phone with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday the Group of 20 leaders will hold a “timely” teleconference on the coronavirus crisis, as international coordination is urgently needed to tackle the pandemic.

In phone talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Moon said the Middle Eastern nation is credited with a “speedy response” to set up the session slated for Thursday. It holds the G-20 presidency this year.

“Now that the coronavirus is spreading, beyond a simple healthcare problem, to the entire fields of economy, finance and society, international coordination is more important than at any other time,” Moon told the crown prince, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

In that sense, he added, the upcoming special video conference by the leaders of the world‘s leading economies is “very timely.”

Moon raised the need to find ways to limit negative impact on the global economy from travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

He voiced hope for “in-depth” discussions on the issue in the session and agreement on “wise methods” to ride out the crisis.

He cited the importance of protecting business-related activities, including cross-border travel by business people, on a level that does not undermine quarantine measures.

The Saudi leader agreed with Moon’s view and said his country is ready to cooperate with South Korea on all related matters.

He added the special G-20 meeting would focus on how to contain the virus, minimize the economic and political fallouts and facilitate trade and country-to-country exchanges.

He also pointed out that the G-20 summit was successful in terms of leading international cooperation against the 2008 global economic crisis and that the role of its members is crucial again for the recovery of world economic growth, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said in a press briefing.

Ending the 20-minute conversation, Moon requested that the Saudi government consider flexibility on the entry of South Korean business people with government-issued health certificates so that they can contribute to bilateral economic ties. (Yonhap)
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