Diplomats praise Saudi initiative to hold virtual summit

Neil Crompton, British ambassador
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Updated 26 March 2020

Diplomats praise Saudi initiative to hold virtual summit

  • The leaders will discuss the global coordinated response to the pandemic

RIYADH: As the world is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, the Saudi leadership has called for an extraordinary virtual summit of G20 leaders on Thursday.

The leaders will discuss the global coordinated response to the pandemic. In an unprecedented move, the summit will be held online and in March, as opposed to the usual date in November.

“The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. The UK will work with our friends and allies in the G20 and beyond to galvanize a stronger global effort, coordinate public health measures, increase the resilience of the most vulnerable health systems, restore business confidence and protect jobs,” British Ambassador Neil Crompton told Arab News.

“Thursday’s extraordinary G20 Summit, hosted by Saudi Arabia, is an important opportunity to discuss urgent and coordinated international fiscal action to protect the global economy.”

Chinese Ambassador Chen Weiqing told Arab News that his country “highly appreciates the wise and responsible attitude of Saudi leaders in calling for the first virtual extraordinary summit as Saudi Arabia holds the current presidency of the G20.”

“China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia and the international community to continue to address global public health security challenges,” he said.

Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said: “The virtual summit will serve as a mechanism for the leaders of the G20 member states to share the best practices in order to combat both the health as well as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

South Korean Ambassador Jo Byung-wook said: “As the president of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, has already expressed his welcoming remarks during his phone call with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on March 24, 2020, Korea sincerely appreciates Saudi Arabia’s initiative for the upcoming extraordinary virtual summit of the G20 leaders.”

He added: “We have an urgent need for collaboration at the G20 level as the entire world is suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Swift action taken by the Saudi leadership has made it possible to hold the virtual summit, he said.

The leaders at the summit will address ongoing efforts to control the pandemic, building confidence, and mitigating the economic and social impact of the outbreak, the South Korean envoy ambassador said.


Saudi Arabia to extend visa validity for expats

Updated 08 April 2020

Saudi Arabia to extend visa validity for expats

  • The extension will continue for an additional three months for expats

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports will extend the validity of exit and return visas – that expire between Feb. 25 until May 24 of 2020 – at no charge, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.
The extension will continue for an additional three months for expats. The decision will cover residents of commercial and industrial professions in the Kingdom and those whose visas have not been used during the suspension of the entry and exit period.
The General Directorate of Passports said that the extension will be done automatically from the system without reviewing the passports.
People can enter their accounts on the “Absher” platform to view the service provided to them electronically, it added.