Global leaders back ‘world peace’ ceasefire so the world can fight coronavirus instead – The Sun

INTERNATIONAL leaders have proposed a world peace ceasefire to focus efforts on battling coronavirus.

France's President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that President Trump, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Xi had all backed a plea for a truce.

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This comes as the devastating coronavirus continues to spread, bringing the worldwide coronavirus death toll to 2,096,585.

The ceasefire plan made by António Guterres, secretary-general of the UN is still waiting for the green light from President Putin, but Macron says he is confident Putin will join the treaty.

Mr Macron told Radio France Internationale: "I spoke to him at the start of this initiative. I haven't spoken to him since I got the firm confirmations from other leaders. I will do this in the next few hours.

"I think that for sure President Putin will agree and the day he says he does, we'll be able to hold a joint video conference and relay this call in a solemn, forceful and efficient way."

The Kremlin confirmed that it was going over the proposal.

Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesman said: "Obviously work is underway. The diplomats are working. As soon as the work is completed and agreed with the partners, corresponding statements will be announced."

In Mr Guterres' plea on March 23, he said that “the fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war” and “that is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world: it is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus on the true fight of our lives.”

He said that “our world faces a common enemy: Covid-19”.

“The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction, or faith,” he added. “It attacks all relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world.”

The US National Security Council tweeted: "The United States hopes that all parties in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and everywhere will heed the call of António Guterres. Now is the time for peace and cooperation."

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Britain will be backing the peace plans, saying that coronavirus was the "fight of our lives and we must unite against it."

Speaking of the failure of a previous treaty, a European diplomatic source said: " This [new] attempt, drafted by the French, has gotten a lot closer to being adopted and expected to be, possibly this week."

The source spoke over the uncertainty of the US and Russia, saying: "Essentially, the Americans and the Russians were uncomfortable with being bound by a global ceasefire, which might mean that they couldn't take actions in Yemen, Libya, Syria or for the US in Afghanistan, for instance."

The new draft has a better chance of getting the ok as it welcomed efforts from the secretary-general and his appeal for a global ceasefire, but didn't explicitly demand one.

A two week ceasefire called by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen came into effect on April 9.

The coalition was supportive of the UN's efforts to fight the virus – despite only one case being confirmed in Yemen.

But hostiles broke out this week, with the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition fighting to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government.

Houthi rebels were accused of breaching the truce 241 times in just 48 hours.

In February, US and Taliban representatives signed a peace deal for Afghanistan but it remains unstable.

Around 5,000 US troops are in Iraq, despite pressure to pull them out after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the country's most powerful military commander in January.


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