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Australia would welcome official invitation to G7, says government spokesman

Australia would welcome an official invitation to the Group of Seven (G7) nations and there has been contact on the matter between the prime minister and the United States

May 31, 2020 / 03:22 PM IST

Australia would welcome an official invitation to the Group of Seven (G7) nations and there has been contact on the matter between the prime minister and the United States, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

"The G7 has been a topic of recent high-level exchanges," the spokesman said in an emailed comment. "Australia would welcome an official invitation. Strengthening international cooperation among like-minded countries is valued at a time of unprecedented global challenges."

U.S. President Donald Trump said he would postpone a G7 summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.

U.S.-Australia ties have been strong, even though recent White House comments on the origins of the coronavirus outbreak have frustrated Australia's push for an independent inquiry, sources have told Reuters. The two security partners also diverged radically in their management of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been so far one of the very few world leaders to pay a state visit to Washington during Trump's tenure, and both leaders have openly signalled their camaraderie.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Morrison, unlike some European leaders, has avoided criticising Trump publicly and has teamed up with the United States in its tougher stance against China, Australia's main trading partner.

Relations between Canberra and Beijing have been strained amid Australian accusations of Chinese meddling in domestic affairs and concern about what Australia sees as China's growing influence in the Pacific region.
Reuters
first published: May 31, 2020 03:16 pm

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