Coronavirus: German president urges European solidarity | News | DW | 26.03.2020

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Coronavirus: German president urges European solidarity

Frank-Walter Steinmeier has appealed for countries to work together in the fight against COVID-19. The suffering wrought by the virus does not stop at borders, he said.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday called for European nations to show more solidarity as they battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

"We must look beyond the next border fence," Steinmeier said in a video posted on social media. "The virus has no nationality, and suffering does not stop at borders."

He praised German hospitals for treating Italian and French patients to ease the health burden in those countries, but added that he would like to see "more such concrete solidarity in the European spirit."

Italy has so far recorded more coronavirus deaths than any other country, followed by Spain, China, Iran and France.

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'Our future does not lie in isolation'

Steinmeier warned against isolation and urged governments not to act alone to solve the crisis. Researchers around the world should collaborate to develop vaccines and treatments, he said.

"The better politics, business and science work together, the faster we will succeed," he added. "Our future does not lie in isolation from each other, but in shared knowledge."

Steinmeier paid tribute to "the heroes of the corona crisis," from doctors, nurses, and supermarket workers, to those who had simply reached out to help others. He also asked Germans to be patient, saying the social distancing measures in place could last "possibly weeks," and that "our solidarity is now existentially important."

nm/rt (Reuters, AFP)

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