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EU-Asia summit draws hemispheres together despite sore points

brussels bureau

EU-Asia summit draws hemispheres together despite sore points


Placing the fight against terrorism at the forefront of their priorities, Asian and European leaders observed one minute’s silence at their summit in Helsinki, honouring the victims of the September 11 attacks in the United States five years ago. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso drove home the international effort required in this field:

“The war against terrorism is far from being won. We have still a lot to do, in security terms, but also in political terms, so that we make it clear that it is not acceptable to invoke religion for political destructive ends, and that we should in a multilateral way join all efforts to tackle this global threat to our community and to our values.”

The summit’s conclusions included a call for Iran to respond positively on proposals made by leading nations aimed at ensuring its nuclear programme is purely peaceful. The leaders also said it was essential that North Korea negotiate on its nuclear programme. Pressure was put on China to improve its human rights performance. Europe also raised its growing concern about climate change, imploring the Asian countries to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and use cleaner European technologies.

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