Latest news on the G20 Summit in Rome:
ROME – The French presidency says European Union leaders will meet with African leaders to continue supporting the continent’s poorest economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An informal meeting will take place later Saturday by French President Emmanuel Macron at the French Embassy in Rome on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.
Macron told reporters on Friday that he expects the G-20 to confirm an additional $ 100 billion to support African economies.
The money will be provided through the redistribution of some Special Drawing Rights to African countries, a foreign currency exchange instrument used to finance imports issued by the International Monetary Fund and originally intended for advanced economies.
The meeting will be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel, African Union President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Heads of State of South Africa and Senegal Cyril Ramaphosa and Maki Sall will take part in a videoconference, according to the Elysee Palace.
ROME. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson denies that his government’s coal and air travel policies are undermining his message that the world needs to move away from fossil fuels.
Johnson will welcome world leaders to Glasgow, Scotland to the UN Climate Summit on Sunday and wants them to improve their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
But at home, his government cut taxes on domestic flights this week and is considering approving the UK’s first deep coal mine in decades.
Johnson said Saturday that Britain’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions was one of the most “strong” of any country.
“People can see what Britain has done,” Johnson said in Rome, where he is attending the G-20 summit. “When I was a child, 80% of our energy came from hydrocarbons,” but by 2035 “we will have no hydrocarbons at all in our electricity generation. We are the most ambitious country in Europe.
“By 2030, we are declaring that we will have no hydrocarbon combustion engines for new cars. This is a very, very ambitious schedule. “
ROME – US President Joe Biden was greeted by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi upon arriving at the site of the G20 summit in Rome, before joining other world leaders for a “family photo.”
Biden shook hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with whom he is expected to hold a bilateral meeting at the upcoming UN climate summit in Scotland, and French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he met on Friday.
The organizers placed Biden at the far left of the front row of the stage, where he spoke warmly with African Union Chairman Felix Chisekedi. The US recently struck a deal with the African Union for the first purchase of doses of Moderna COVID-19.
ROME – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was late for a “family photo” of the leaders for the G20 summit in Rome.
Other leaders had already gathered on the dais in front of a row of flags when Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came in from a bilateral meeting. Some of the waiting leaders let out humorous shouts at the latecomers.
Johnson greeted US President Joe Biden with a shout of “Hi Joe” as he took his seat.
Johnson backed French President Emmanuel Macron amid a dispute between Britain and France over fishing licenses. The two men exchanged simulated combat punches, but did not appear to be speaking to each other.
Other leaders banged their fists, shook hands, or saluted namaste in different ways. Macron handed Biden a two-handed clasp and patted his forearm.
The leaders were joined by a group of doctors, firefighters and other front-line soldiers, who were applauded by the assembled politicians.
VATICAN – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis to visit the country after plans for a visit in 2017 collapsed.
Modi made the invitation on Saturday during a lengthy meeting at the Vatican before heading to the G-20 summit in Rome.
In his tweet, Modi wrote: “I met Pope Francis very warmly. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him, and also invited him to visit India. “
The official communiqué of the Vatican said only that Modi’s visit to the Vatican Secretary of State was brief and that “the warm relationship between the Holy See and India was discussed.”
Francis hoped to visit India and Bangladesh in 2017. After negotiations with the Indian government dragged on, Francis traveled to Bangladesh and Myanmar instead.
ROME – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will donate 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to developing countries as part of efforts to expand vaccines to countries in dire need.
Johnson made the announcement when he arrived in Rome for the G-20 Leaders’ Summit, which kicks off Saturday.
The UK says 10 million doses have been shipped under the UN-backed COVAX Vaccine Exchange Program, with 10 million more to follow in the coming weeks.
They join the 10 million doses already delivered and are part of the UK’s commitment to share 100 million doses with countries in need by mid-2022.
Johnson called on the Economic Powers Club to promote vaccination around the world by the end of 2022, stating that “our top priority as the G-20 must be to move forward a rapid, equitable and global distribution of vaccines.”
Britain and other wealthy countries have been accused of storing more vaccines than they need, while some countries, especially Africa, have few or none. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the World Health Organization’s health spokesman, has called on G20 countries to speed up the process and air unused doses to developing countries.
The British leader also hopes to focus the G-20’s focus on climate commitments as he prepares to host the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which starts Sunday.