APEC Economic Leaders Adopt Anti-terrorist Statement

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation /APEC/ forum in Shanghai ended on Sunday as its participants adopted a statement condemning international terrorism and declaring the forum's loyalty to the struggle against all kinds of terrorist activity. Participants in the Shanghai forum strongly condemn the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA, which they regard, together with all other forms of terrorism, as a serious threat to peace, prosperity and safety of all people, regardless of their nationality or faith. Besides, terrorism "is an open challenge to the image of APEC as a community of free, open and prosperous economies, as well as to the basic principles of this organisation," reads the statement. However, the document does not mention the US-led military operation in Afghanistan, which aroused much controversy amidst APEC leaders. According to RIA Novosti's sources, the lack of accord mostly resulted from Indonesia's appeal for a more cautious and well thought-out approach to the anti-terrorist struggle. APEC leaders deem it expedient to strengthen all-round anti-terrorist cooperation at all levels, and stress that the United Nations must act the leading part in this effort. They also express their intention to support all actions aimed at the strengthening of the international anti-terrorist regime. Likewise, APEC leaders commit themselves to information exchange and coordination of actions between the bodies of power responsible for economic policy and finance to prevent possible terrorist damage to markets and economies. Issues related to terrorism are also brought up in the final Declaration of APEC Economic Leaders, which stresses collective resoluteness of the Asia Pacific community to counteract terrorism.

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