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APEC Leaders Pledge Quick Action on Global Financial Crisis

  • VOA News

Leaders from the United States, China, Japan and 18 other economies in Asia and the Americas have promised fast and decisive action to prevent a severe global economic downturn.

The 21 leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Lima, Peru, closed their summit Sunday with a statement saying they believe the worldwide financial crisis can be overcome in 18 months.

The APEC members pledged to refrain for a year from raising barriers to international trade. They also promised to push for the revival of world trade negotiations that collapsed in July. APEC, which accounts for half the world's trade activity, called for an overhaul of global financial institutions, echoing the Group of 20 summit held recently in Washington. The summit marked U.S. President George Bush's last global conference as president. On Sunday, he met with Peruvian President Alan Garcia.

On Saturday, Mr. Bush held a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev -- their first since the Russian invasion of Georgia in August. According to his spokeswoman, Mr. Bush and Mr. Medvedev discussed their differences on Georgia, and talked about the need for the U.S. and Russia to cooperate on Iran. They also discussed piracy and agreed to have their administrations work together to coordinate an aggressive international response against the shipping pirates.

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