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(Update) APEC Summit Ends; Chair's Statement Criticizes Russia's War

(Update) APEC Summit Ends; Chair's Statement Criticizes Russia's War

   San Francisco, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum wrapped up a three-day summit in San Francisco on Friday by adopting a joint declaration that did not touch on Russia's invasion of Ukraine or the situation in the Middle East.
   Meanwhile, separately from the leaders' declaration, the United States released a chair's statement on the APEC summit that said "most members strongly condemn the aggression against Ukraine," almost the same wording as last year's declaration by APEC leaders.
   At the summit, the leaders of the 21 APEC member economies, including Japan, the United States, China and Russia, also exchanged views on the situation in the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian conditions have deteriorated due to the military conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
   They were divided over whether to criticize or support Israel. Some leaders objected to the inclusion of any message on the situation in Gaza in the leaders' declaration on the basis that they do not believe APEC is a forum to discuss geopolitical issues, according to the chair's statement.
   The latest APEC summit was held at a time when the international situation has been unsettled by the war in Ukraine, the escalating Israel-Palestine conflict and U.S.-China tensions over export controls on critical goods. The focus was on whether the APEC leaders would be able to adopt a declaration that requires unanimous agreement in principle in a show of unity in the Asia-Pacific region.

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