France announces G7 coronavirus meeting

France announces G7 coronavirus meeting

Emmanuel Macron on March 12, 2020 announced schools in France would close from next week and urged people over 70 to stay at home, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The president also announced that local elections to be held on March 15, will not be postponed. (AFP Photo)

The G7 will hold an extraordinary meeting via videoconference next week to bolster the international response to the coronavirus outbreak, the French presidency said Friday, also proposing enhanced EU border control.

The meeting of the Group of Seven nations will seek to coordinate action against the virus in the spheres of health, economy, finance and research, the presidency said.

It said the event was initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron who discussed it with US counterpart Donald Trump by telephone Friday.

The United States, current chair of the G7, and others in the group "all gave their agreement," it added. The G7 is made up of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, and Japan.

Macron also proposed that the European Union reinforce border control in the visa-free Schengen area or even close them in heavily-affected or high-risk areas, said the presidency.

The French leader discussed the matter by telephone Friday with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

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