Asia-Pacific forum APEC says most members strongly condemn war in Ukraine

© Anupam Nath, AP

Leaders from around the Asia-Pacific called for an end to Russia’s war on Ukraine and pledged to steer the region’s economies toward sustainable growth as they wrapped up summit meetings Saturday.

Host Thailand garnered a diplomatic coup in managing to bridge divisions among the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum by saying that most members had condemned the war. Russia is an APEC member, as is China, which generally has refrained from criticizing Moscow.

The declaration issued by APEC leaders acknowledged differing views on the war and said the forum, which is devoted largely to promoting trade and closer economic ties, was not a venue for resolving such conflicts.

But it noted that the war and other security issues can “can have significant consequences for the global economy."

It said most members had strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and worsening inflation, supply chain troubles, food insecurity and financial risks.

The statement echoed the wording of a March 2 United Nations General Assembly resolution that “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine."

In other developments Saturday, a White House official said U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris exchanged brief remarks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the final APEC meeting began, calling for both sides to keep lines of communication open.

(AP)


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