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Sunday, 21 October, 2001, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
Apec unites against terrorism
China's President Jiang Zemin (left) with President George Bush
China chose the silk jackets for the leaders to wear
Leaders of Asia and Pacific countries have condemned the 11 September attacks in the United States as "murderous deeds" and urged international cooperation in fighting terrorism.

It is the first major political statement in the 12-year history of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group (Apec), a body normally dedicated to trade.

US troops prepare missiles
Russian and China want the US-led military campaign to end soon
In their final statement at the end of two days of talks in Shanghai, the leaders said terrorist acts were a profound threat to the peace, prosperity and security of all people, of all faiths, of all nations.

The declaration, read by Chinese President Jiang Zemin, continued: "Terrorism is also a direct challenge to Apec's vision of free, open and prosperous economies."

But there was no direct mention of Afghanistan or Osama Bin Laden in the statement, which the BBC's Adam Brookes in Shanghai says highlights the discomfort felt by mainly-Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia over the US attacks on the country.

The statement urges all governments to prevent and suppress all forms of terrorist acts in the future.

And it calls on member countries to move to prevent the flow of funds to terrorists.

On economic matters, the leaders also said they were committed to maintaining public confidence by fighting protectionism and launching a new round of talks to tear down barriers to global commerce.

They also committed themselves to speed up the progress of achieving free trade among developed members by 2010 and for developing countries 10 years later.

Bush plea

On Saturday, President George W Bush urged Apec to unite against terrorism, promising that the 11 September attacks would not stop the building of free markets and free trade around the world.

Chinese soldiers at Apec venue
China imposed tight security at the summit
Mr Bush said the war on terrorism was "a fight to save the civilised world, and values common to the West, to Asia, to Islam".

He is due to hold talks with President Putin on Sunday.

Both the Russian and Chinese presidents have called for the US-led campaign in Afghanistan to move rapidly to a political solution.

Mr Putin was the first world leader to telephone Mr Bush on the day of the attacks to offer his condolences - the first move in a rapidly developing new alliance between the two former Cold War foes.

President Bush has used the Apec summit to reach out to regional leaders to boost support for the coalition against terrorism.

On Saturday, he assured Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, one of the most outspoken critics of the attacks on Afghanistan, that the United States was trying to be "as careful as we possibly could" to avoid civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Shanghai
"Apec is really an economic creature, not a political creature"
See also:

18 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
BBC News Online blocked at Apec
18 Oct 01 | Business
Apec backs world trade round
17 Oct 01 | Americas
US denies China sanctions review
17 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan Apec row heads for the wire
19 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Terrorism war unites Bush and Jiang
21 Oct 01 | Business
Terror threat pushes freer trade
21 Oct 01 | Business
Apec stresses need for free trade
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