COVID-19: Pompeo holds video conference with counterparts; discusses China's accountability
Washington, May 12: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has discussed with his counterparts from India, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan and South Korea the importance of international cooperation, transparency, and accountability in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing its causes.
Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne, Brazilian foreign minister Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araujo, Israeli foreign minister Yisrael Katz, Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono and South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, the State Department said in a press release on Monday.
"Pompeo and his counterparts discussed the importance of international cooperation, transparency, and accountability in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing its causes," State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.
The US and other countries have raised questions about whether China was fully transparent when the virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year. But China has denied allegations of a cover up, saying it has been transparent about its efforts to battle the deadly virus.
The virtual meeting of the ministers also discussed collaboration toward preventing future global health crises and reaffirming the importance of the rules-based international order, Ortagus said.
Commenting on the virtual meeting, Jaishankar said it was a broad-based discussion on responding to the challenge posed by the coronavirus and termed it as "productive".
"Conversation covered pandemic response, global health management, medical cooperation, economic recovery and travel norms. Look forward to continuing this engagement," the minister tweeted.
The world has reported over 286,000 deaths and 4,178,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The US is currently the worst hit nation with over 80,000 deaths and 1,347,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to latest statistics from Johns Hopkins University.