ISTANBUL (AA) - The Group of 20 Leaders' Summit kicked off in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia is chairing the summit which will run through Sunday and is being held virtually in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a statement on the G20 website, the effects of COVID-19 on the economy will dominate discussions held at the event.
This year's summit is overshadowed by political uncertainty in the United States, as President Donald Trump has still refrained from acknowledging the victory of his opponent Joe Biden in the presidential elections which took place on Nov. 3.
The summit is also being held at a time when the US and many European countries are facing a second wave of coronavirus.
The G20 consists of Germany, the US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, France, South Africa, South Korea, India, the UK, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Union as well as the IMF and the World Bank.
Together, the nations of the G20 account for around 80% of global economic output, nearly 75% of all global trade, and about two-thirds of the world’s population. Experts believe that building personal relationships among leaders has substantial effects on making foreign policy. By gathering so many leaders together, G20 summits offer rare opportunities to develop such relationships and foster bilateral ties.
The G20 was formed in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. In 2008, the first G20 Leaders' Summit was held, and the forum played a key role in helping member countries respond to the global financial crisis.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara