Foreign, trade ministers underscore counter-terrorism in Apec meet
Even though trade and economic issues dominate the discussions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the carnage that left 129 people dead in Paris hounded its ministerial meeting in Manila on Monday.
“Before the meeting began, the ministers had a moment of silence for the victims of the terror attacks,” Koichi Mizushima, Japan’s deputy press secretary in a news briefing on Tuesday morning.
The meeting of foreign and trade ministers of the member economies of the Apec at the Manila Marriott Hotel began on Monday and will be concluded Tuesday, ahead of the summit of world leaders.
The meeting was co-chaired by Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo.
“They share that the idea that any terrorist [attack] should be condemned and the international community should cooperate in order to tackle these [terrorist] activities,” Mizushima said.
He said “many ministers” mentioned the Paris attacks in their statements.
For one, Japan’s foreign minister Fumio Kishida in his statement at the first plenary session of the 27th Apec ministerial meeting called on his fellow ministers to tackle counter-terrorism during their plenary session under the theme “Inclusive Growth through Sustainable and Resilient Communities.”
“This act of terror reminded us the importance of the fight against terrorism. It is a serious challenge to our shared value, and the international community should be united to strongly condemn such act,” he said.
“Japan will continue to make its utmost efforts to fight against terrorism in close cooperation with the international community,” he added.
The atrocities in Paris have likewise put the G20 summit, the gathering of the leaders of the world’s 20 economies, in Antalya, Turkey in somber mood.
After the attacks, a crackdown across France and neighbor cities followed leading to the arrests of at least 23 suspects. CDG
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