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APEC leaders urge progress on deadlocked trade talks

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APEC leaders urge progress on deadlocked trade talks


Asia-Pacific leaders have called for urgent progress on stalled global trade talks at the end of their summit in Sydney. The so-called “Doha Round” has dragged on for six years. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum wants a rapid resolution, as the group’s host, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, announced.

Briefing reporters on the summit, he said:

“We have also agreed on a leaders’ declaration and a statement of very strong support for the Doha Round and an urgent request to all countries involved in the Doha process to renew their efforts.”

APEC’s 21-member economies account for half of global trade.

The group earlier adopted a declaration on climate change.

Members agreed to a “long-term aspirational goal” to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental campaigners say that, without binding targets, it is a failure.

For two days presidents and prime ministers have been meeting behind a tight security cordon, after police said they feared violent street protests. But demonstrations have been peaceful, with few arrests.

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