PM Johnson calls for an end to disunity in tackling COVID-19 epidemic

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Britain's PM Johnson visits HMS Queen Elizabeth ahead of deployment, in Portsmouth

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday called for an end to a disunited approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and said countries should resist the temptations of nationalism to protect the world from similar threats in the future.

Johnson drew a parallel between the COVID-19 pandemic and the plague at the start of Homer's epic poem The Iliad.

"Almost 2,800 years later, the world has been just as disunited I'm afraid as Achilles and Agamemnon. And I think now is the time to come together and to defeat the pandemic and to prevent another," Johnson said in a speech to the G20 health summit.

"Now is the time to move away from the temptations of competing nationalism... and instead reassert the power, the duty, the necessity for nations to act together, building collective defence against the common enemy of disease."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Costas Pitas)

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