German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas waits for the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin. File/Reuters
The coronavirus outbreak will dominate the agenda of the European Union when Germany takes over the rotating council presidency in the second half of this year, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote in an opinion article.
Maas has been outspoken about the global handling of the crisis, criticizing the US for being slow and China as authoritarian. The pandemic has spread to 214 countries, with 1.6 million infections and 106,000 deaths.
"We will make it a 'corona presidency' to overcome corona and its consequences," he wrote in the piece, published in Die Welt newspaper on Sunday. Germany assumes the chair on July 1 from Croatia.
A gradual and coordinated reduction on travel curbs will be one of the first tasks "once we are out of the woods," he wrote.
And the bloc will also need to draw lessons from the crisis, such as improving EU civil protection and the joint procurement and production of medical supplies, he said.
There is also a need to "correct the mistakes" the crisis has exposed, he wrote, pointing to restrictions on democracy and the rule of law "under the guise of fighting corona, which are unacceptable in Europe".
The US was wholly unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic.
The string of weapons drills come as a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States drags on, and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the pandemic.
More than half of all US novel coronavirus deaths so far have struck in King County, which encompasses the city of Seattle. The region has suffered 43 fatalities.
Expatriates living in the UAE were elated as their family members, colleagues, friends stuck in other countries are now able to return as the UAE has lifted restriction on incoming flights from Monday onwards.
The Committee explained that the new guidelines take into account the exceptional situations of some categories of people including people of determination, children, and those with chronic respiratory conditions.
The UAE will today (Monday) start receiving residents with valid residence visas, who were stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic from various countries.