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MORE than 230 political parties from over 100 countries have signed a statement calling for international solidarity and co-operation to beat the global coronavirus pandemic.
Initiated by the Communist Party of China, the joint open letter paid tribute to all those who devote themselves to saving lives and protecting people’s health. It also extended “heartfelt sympathies and solicitude” to the families of the bereaved.
But the letter warned that if the disease is not “effectively and promptly contained, it will inflict even greater harm to the lives, safety and health of many more people.”
“We call on all countries to put the lives, safety and health of the people above everything else and take resolute and forceful measures to put an end to the spread of Covid-19,” the text said.
The statement comes amid a growing division in the international response to the coronavirus crisis.
China, Russia and Cuba have been among those countries leading the fight, sending medical teams and aid to places most affected by the pandemic.
Medics have flown to countries including Iran, Italy, Britain and the United States to support efforts to combat the virus and millions of face masks and ventilators have been shipped to where they are in short supply.
But the US has been accused of acting as a “Wild West bully” by blocking essential medical aid to Cuba and sending warships towards Venezuela.
Washington has increased sanctions on Iran, preventing it from buying medical supplies on the global market, and ratcheted up an anti-China propaganda war that critics have described as a “smokescreen” to deflect from US failures.
European Union solidarity has been dismissed as “a fairy tale” by Italy, Serbia and other countries after pleas for support went unanswered.
There have now been more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and nearly 67,000 deaths recorded worldwide. Over 900,000 people are currently sick.
The statement called for trade barriers and other restrictions to be lifted, including a relaxation of sanction to facilitate transport of urgently needed medical equipment and protective materials.
It also appealed for increased international co-operation, commending China for adopting “an open, transparent and responsible attitude to disclosing related information in a timely fashion” and thus making a major contribution to the global fight.
The letter conveyed a message of hope, saying that with closer communication and political energy, the tide will turn.
“We firmly believe that our current difficulties are only temporary, just as the sunlight shall eventually shine after each storm…
“It is our belief that, after the pandemic, the community with a shared future for mankind will emerge stronger and humanity will embrace a brighter tomorrow.”
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