Italian PM: ‘All conflicts around the world should stop’ during global pandemic
Seema Verma, WH coronavirus task force, addresses VP Pence stating the U.S. coronavirus outbreak is 'most comparable' to Italy
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Conte said his country agrees with UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ suggestion of a “global ceasefire” at this time, noting the strategic advantage of joining forces.
“[I]t’s crucial, the cohesion and cooperation of our democracies and it’s strategic, the international collaboration; and it’s strategic also that all conflicts around the world should stop,” Conte told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. Italy strongly supports the appeal made by the Secretary General of the United Nations for a global ceasefire. It is time for all the parties and conflicts to stop fighting each other.
Guterres said Friday that warring parties in 11 countries have responded positively to his appeal for a global cease-fire to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, but turning words into peace is enormously difficult and fighting has escalated in major conflicts including Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan.
He called on all governments, groups and people with influence “to urge and pressure combatants around the world to put down their arms,” saying the need is urgent because “the COVID-19 storm” is now coming to all conflict areas.
The U.N. chief said the appeal is “resonating” across the world, citing a growing number of endorsements for the cease-fire from 70 countries, civil society, religious leaders including Pope Francis, and more than 1 million people in an online petition organized by Avaaz.
Meanwhile, new data suggests that Italy’s efforts to combat coronavirus finally appear to be paying off. Since instituting a nationwide lockdown on March 9, the nation has seen a slowdown in its daily increase in total cases.
In the run-up to March 9, Italy saw a near-constant daily increase by around 24 percent. From 3/30 to 4/2, the average daily increase in total cases only went up around 4.2 percent -- down from an average of 7.1 percent over the previous week.
Fox News' Peter Aitken and The Associated Press contributed to this report.