APEC leaders issue summit declaration despite rift over Russia

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Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim economies released a declaration after the end of their summit Saturday despite a rift over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, diplomatic sources said.

The declaration, issued after the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in Bangkok, contained opposing views on Moscow’s aggression, the sources said.

While the United States, Japan and other APEC members have imposed sanctions on Russia, some other economies such as China have opted not to.

A joint statement released Friday by APEC ministers said most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine, but it also said, “There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.”

On Saturday, the APEC leaders adopted the so-called Bangkok Goals for a Bio-Circular-Green Economy concept, a post-COVID-19 pandemic growth strategy intended to address environmental and climate issues, according to the sources.

All of the economies agreed on the Bangkok Goals, aimed at enhancing cooperation in the region and promoting proper utilization of resources.

Also on Saturday, the leaders found common ground on the promotion of free and fair trade and investment, a focal point of the final day of discussions.

North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile on Friday was condemned by six of the member economies, Japan, the United States, South Korea, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, at an emergency meeting held the same day.

The APEC gathering was the last of a series of summit meetings in Southeast Asia, following Association of Southeast Asian Nations-related summits in Phnom Penh and the Group of 20 summit in Bali, along with bilateral and trilateral talks on the sidelines.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida represented Japan at the APEC summit, while U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris attended on behalf of President Joe Biden.

Russian President Vladimir Putin skipped it, as he did the G20 summit that ended Wednesday in Bali, Indonesia.

Representing about half of global trade and 60 percent of the world economy, APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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