The British prime minister says the entire world needs to pull together to recover from the impact of Covid-19 … reports Asian Lite News
With the United Kingdom set to take leadership of the G7 and chair the global climate change conference COP26 in 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country will play an important role in how the world takes recovery from “a tiny pathogen” that has devastated society.
in an interview with The National, he revealed how his personal experience with the disease has helped him to renew his resolve to protect the public and the health system while ensuring that the economy stays afloat.
In March, Johnson was admitted to intensive care affected with Covid-19. After his release he had paid tribute to the health care professionals who looked after him. Six months later, he sounded confident recovering from pandemic emphasizing Britain’s support to universal access to any potential vaccine.
“I’m determined that the UK will drive forward the effort to find a vaccine, repair the global economy and prevent future health crises,” he told The National.
Johnson added that he has set out a five-point plan to prevent future pandemics which includes proposals like developing a worldwide network of zoonotic hubs to spot diseases before they leap from animals to humans, a pandemic early warning system and measures to reduce trade barriers on health-critical items.
“The UK will work with our international partners to put this plan into action. The basic functions of our societies have ground to a halt thanks to this tiny pathogen – we can’t allow that to happen again.”
Ties with the Gulf
The prime minister stated that his country wishes to develop ties with the countries in the Gulf region. He also said that he looks forward to next month’s Riyadh G20 summit as an important step for co-ordinated international efforts to repair the damage brought out by the virus.
“Some 175,000 British nationals live in the Gulf, and before Covid affected all our lives, one million Brits visited each year – to do business, forge relationships and enjoy some of that fabled sunshine.”-he said.
UK’s priority is to reach agreements on health, the economy and climate among the G20 nations which includes global access to any coronavirus vaccine, debt financing for developing and middle-income countries, and tangible measures to tackle climate change. These goals should be anchored on a continued commitment to free trade for sustainable recovery.
Johnson also made comments on his country’s relationship with Iran. He stated that Britain would not be complacent in dealing with Iran as UN arms embargo on the country expires on Sunday.
“I’ve voiced my concern on many occasions about the destabilising role Iran plays in the region. We’re working hard, including at the UN, to find a constructive solution to address the threat to security posed by the expiry of the arms embargo.”-he said.
Johnson made it clear that working together to tackle shared security challenges is the basis of Britain’s relationship with many Gulf states and he considers this partnership pivotal for the safety and security of the UK.
On being asked about the recent agreement between the UAE, Bahrain and Israel, Mr Johnson said he welcomed the Abraham Accords “as a positive step on the path to peace” by normalising relations. He added that co-operation and dialogue must win out over hostility and division. UK’s plan to strengthen relations with the Gulf was clear in Johnson’s statement that they are exploring areas where the UK can work with all three countries to deepen that cooperation.
Mr. Johnson sounded positive on Palestine issue while he welcomed the suspension of Israel’s further annexation plans. He also expressed UK’s commitment to the negotiations on the establishment of a sovereign state in Palestine.
“We support a negotiated agreement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. This would be based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a fair settlement for refugees,” he added.
He went on to say that that there is no substitute for direct talks between the Palestinians and Israelis and any effort to bring the two parties together must be encouraged. He also expressed UK’s willingness to facilitate meaningful dialogue in any way that they can.
He also commented on UAE’s gift of 100 tonnes of protective equipment at the height of the spring Covid-19 crisis, calling it “a bright spot of cooperation and friendship” at a time when the virus was spreading rapidly.
He stressed the need for international unity while the world is grappling with the corona virus. He believes that recovery is possible if there is spirit of united endeavour between countries.
‘’If the world is to recover from this devastating pandemic, we will have to pull together,” he said.
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