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For Immediate Release
October 22, 2003

Global Message

President Bush led APEC Leaders in committing to strengthen efforts to protect civil aviation and enhance capacity to combat terror in the Asia-Pacific region.

APEC Leaders have taken a number of significant steps recently to combat the terrorist threat, including the capture of the terrorist Hambali in Thailand and the successful prosecution of the Bali bombers in Indonesia.

To enhance counterterrorism capacity in the region, APEC Leaders agreed to establish a regional trade and financial security initiative at the Asian Development Bank.

The United States committed to helping launch the initiative with a contribution of $5.4 million in funds and in-kind support. Japan and Australia have also pledged to contribute to this initiative.

APEC Leaders committed to adopt strict domestic export controls on MANPADS; secure stockpiles; regulate MANPADS production, transfer, and brokering; ban transfers to non-state end-users; and exchange information in support of these efforts.

Leaders agreed to continue to strengthen national controls on MANPADS and review progress at next year's Leaders meeting in Chile.

Leaders endorsed a U.S. proposal for APEC's Counterterrorism Task Force to collaborate with the G-8 Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG). This new linkage will enable both groups to identify high priority projects in the Asia-Pacific region in need of financial or technical assistance.

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