World leaders gather in Paris to discuss international disasters
The leaders of world leaders will gather in a landmark summit in Paris on Thursday to discuss the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Philippines and the death toll in a deadly wildfire in southern China.
The leaders will take part in a dinner at the Elysee Palace at 2:00 p.m.
(1600 GMT) in the French capital, where they will meet their counterparts from the United States, Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada, Mexico and France.
The leaders have been urged to put aside personal differences and focus on the common threats facing the world.
They will also discuss the devastating flooding that has engulfed the Philippines, the deadliest of the three disasters in the region that have killed more than 4,000 people.
A day earlier, Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 storm, lashed the Philippines with torrential rains, destroying nearly a quarter of the island of Tacloban, killing at least 15 people and injuring thousands.
The Philippines has a long history of heavy rains and flooding, as well as the threat of landslides, and it is one of the worst affected regions of the world in terms of the number of people killed.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called on people to remain calm, calling the floods a humanitarian crisis, while the country’s military said it was protecting civilians.
The United States and the United Kingdom were among the countries to call for calm and cooperation between the United Nations and the government of President Benigno Aquino.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has issued a state of emergency for six counties, including the capital, Manila.
In an apparent reference to the recent deadly wildfires in northern China, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Monday that its capital, Beijing, has seen its number of fires increase dramatically this year.
In a brief statement, China said it is concerned by the rising number of wildfires, including one near the capital city of Beijing.
China has a record number of forest fires and has been under a government of “urgent and merciless measures,” Xinhua said.
The government has been trying to control the number and spread of wildfires and to control them to prevent the spread of diseases, Xinhua added.
China’s state media has often highlighted its crackdown on the spread and damage of fires in recent months.