RIYADH — Leaders of the G20 major economies will hold an online summit on Thursday in a bid to fend off a coronavirus-triggered recession, after criticism the group has been slow to address the crisis. US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the emergency videoconference chaired by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who is also under pressure to end an oil price war with Moscow that has roiled energy markets. The talks come as the global death toll from COVID-19 soared close to 21,000 and over 3 billion people were locked down in their homes. “As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges to healthcare systems and the global economy, we convene this extraordinary G20 summit to unite efforts towards a global response,” the king of Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency, said on Twitter. The meeting, expected to be held at 1200 GMT, comes as the world’s 20 most industrialised countries scramble to defend their virus-wracked economies amid forecasts they will likely plunge into recession this year. On Wednesday, the financial ratings agency Moody’s estimated the G20’s overall gross domestic product would contract by 0.5 per cent, with the US economy shrinking… Read full this story
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