May 18, 2020 / 10:50 AM / 7 days ago

Swiss president opens WHO assembly with praise for chief

FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. To match Special Report HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/WHO-TEDROS REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Switzerland’s President opened the World Health Organization’s annual assembly in Geneva on Monday, pledging her country’s “full support and cooperation” to its leader as it coordinates the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Director-General as you go through this crisis be assured that you have the Switzerland’s full support and cooperation,” Simonetta Sommaruga told the online World Health Assembly, referring to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. She urged its 194 member states to “act together” in the crisis.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the Geneva-based body “irreplaceable” and said it needed greater resources to provide support for developing countries.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Emma Farge

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