Apec leaders 'strongly condemn Paris, Beirut, Sinai terrorist attacks'

Pacific Rim leaders will issue a declaration on Thursday (Nov 19) condemning recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Sinai.
Pacific Rim leaders will issue a declaration on Thursday (Nov 19) condemning recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Sinai. PHOTO: EPA

MANILA - Pacific Rim leaders meeting in Manila for a two-day summit will on Thursday (Nov 19) issue a strongly worded declaration condemning terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and on a Russian plane downed over the Sinai desert in Egypt.

"Under the shadow cast by the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and against a Russian aircraft over the Sinai and elsewhere, we strongly condemn all acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations," a nine-page draft of the Apec Economic Leaders' Declaration seen by The Straits Times showed.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, the host for this year's summit of the Association of Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum, will read the statement in a news conference at around 5pm.

The 21 Apec leaders, in the draft declaration, are calling for "the urgent need for increased cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism".

"We will not allow terrorism to threaten the fundamental values that underpin our free and open economies," they said, as they pushed for growth and prosperity as "among the most powerful tools to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalisation".

Militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched simultaneous attacks in Paris last week that left at least 120 people dead.

A day before, suicide bombings in Beirut killed 43 people and wounded 200, the worst terrorist attack in Lebanon in years. Prior to these attacks, a Russian passenger jet crashed over the Sinai.

ISIS claimed responsibility for both the Beirut bombings and the plane crash.

Going into specifics, the Apec leaders pushed for initiatives to plug terrorist financing and restrict cross-border movements of terrorists.

"We further encourage economies to implement fully the Apec Consolidated Counter-Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy and to continue taking collective and individual actions and sharing best practices," they said.

rdancel@sph.com.sg