Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
An extraordinary virtual G20 leaders' summit will be convened on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and global plans to deal with public health and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.
At the meet, India would push for a "positive and forward-looking" approach to tackle the global challenge as it requires a "coordinated global response", according to people familiar with developments.
Leaders from G20, which comprises 19 countries and the European Union, are reportedly involved in hectic negotiations for finalizing the joint communique to be released after the meet that would be held via video conference.
Apart from a joint global action plan, members of the grouping will also outline their positions during the virtual summit convened by the current G20 president, Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that he was looking forward to attending the virtual G20 coronavirus summit to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the G20 meet, he is likely to refer to India's role in bringing together the SAARC leaders on March 15 for a coordinated response to the crisis, and further discuss how the same could be replicated by other countries.
The #G20 has an important global role to play in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to productive discussions tomorrow at the #G20VirtualSummit, being coordinated by the Saudi G20 Presidency. @g20org @KingSalman— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 25, 2020
The G20 summit comes against the backdrop of a divide among the members of the G7 grouping to brand COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus" -a push by the US State Department- in a joint statement after a video conference on Wednesday.
A number of G7 members rejected the US's State Department's push; separate statements issued by the members reflected divisions within the grouping.
"What the US State Department has suggested is a red line. You cannot agree with this branding of this virus and trying to communicate this," a European diplomat told CNN, after a video conference of the G7 foreign ministers.
The US, which is the current G7 president, also blamed China for the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the proposed draft statement of the grouping, according to the European diplomat.
A number of US leaders, including President Donald Trump, have repeatedly termed COVID-19, which was first reported in China's Wuhan city in December last year, as the "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus".
However, a person familiar with India-related developments of G20 summit, said, "India's approach will be to have a positive and forward-looking outcome. This (COVID-19) is a global challenge and requires a coordinated global response."
"India doesn't want to get into a blame game. The priority for us is to tackle the coronavirus and to forge a coordinated global response to it," the person added.
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