SINGAPORE -- Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has cautioned against resorting to blame game amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and called for international cooperation to combat the highly infectious disease.
The biggest challenges facing humanity, including pandemics and climate change, are transnational ones, so dealing with them will require cooperation, multipolar leadership, and multilateral institutions and processes, Balakrishnan told the virtual Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday evening.
"We're moving from a unipolar world into a multipolar world and the hope that America somehow will single-handedly carry this world is not realistic," he said, adding that the "old canard (that) you are either with us or against us does not work in a multipolar world."
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BUENOS AIRES -- Public health takes priority over other matters amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said on Wednesday.
Speaking via a video conference at the opening of the new 52-bed Bicentennial Hospital in Ituzaingo, some 24 km west of Buenos Aires, the president said the facility will initially treat COVID-19 patients exclusively.
"From the president down to the last official, we know where the urgency is, where the needs are and what we must do," said Fernandez.
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BERLIN -- Following the devastating explosions in the Port of Beirut, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday promised Germany's help to Lebanon.
"With great dismay, I learned of the severe explosion in Beirut, which has claimed many victims," Merkel wrote on Wednesday in a letter of condolence to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
"In this difficult time, you can count on the help and support of the German government," said Merkel.
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HONG KONG -- The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday strongly condemned the abhorrent acts done by some district council members from non-establishment camp and some individuals against the mainland nucleic acid test support team.
Those district council members and individuals held demonstrations outside the hotel where the mainland nucleic acid test support team stayed and at the sites where the team made inspection visits for consecutive days and made disturbances to the team members.
A spokesman for the HKSAR government reiterated that the HKSAR government is grateful to the central government for supporting the anti-epidemic work of Hong Kong.
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RAMALLAH -- A senior Palestinian official unveiled on Wednesday that some parties mediate between Israel and the Palestinian leadership to revive the peace process.
Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement, declined to say which parties mediate between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides to resume the stalled peace talks.
Al-Aloul told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah that "there are many parties who are in permanent contact with the Israelis, us and the Americans, trying to find a solution."