- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 21, 2001

SHANGHAI President Bush yesterday called on Asian nations to join the U.S.-led war against terrorism. "This conflict is a fight to save the civilized world and values common to the West, to Asia, to Islam," he said in a speech to business executives.
"Our enemies are murderers with global reach," Mr. Bush said. "They seek weapons to kill on a global scale. Every nation now must oppose this enemy or be, in turn, its target."
Meanwhile, Pacific Rim leaders vowed today to prevent "all forms of terrorist acts" and to boost cooperation to catch those who carry out such crimes, according to a copy of an anti-terrorism declaration obtained by Reuters news agency.
Leaders of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are scheduled to issue their unprecedented political statement after their second and final day of talks today. APEC officials say leaders could still make minor text changes.
"Leaders commit to prevent and suppress all forms of terrorist acts," says the text, which went further than earlier drafts but still does not refer to U.S.-led strikes on Afghanistan or Saudi-born Osama bin Laden who masterminded the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The president spent much of yesterday meeting privately with world leaders attending the annual APEC forum, including Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, who has publicly called for an end to the U.S. retaliatory strikes on Afghanistan.
"He is concerned about the deaths of innocent people in Afghanistan, and I assured him I am, too," Mr. Bush said. "I assured him that we were trying to be as careful as we possibly could to achieve our military objective."
Mr. Mahathir said after his half-hour meeting that he and the U.S. president had agreed to disagree, but he did not repeat his call for the United States to call off its military campaign. He did suggest, however, that a resolution to the conflict in the Middle East is necessary to stem terrorism.
In his speech, Mr. Bush said the Sept. 11 attacks "took place in my country, but they were really an attack on all civilized countries."
"The roll of the dead and the missing includes citizens from over 80 nations 96 Russians, 23 Australians, at least 30 Chinese, 24 Japanese, 20 Malaysians, 16 Mexicans, 21 Indonesians."
The goal of the terrorists was to topple the world economy, but they failed, Mr. Bush said.
"I'm here in Shanghai to assure our friends and to inform our foes that the progress of trade and freedom will continue," the president said. "The ties of culture and commerce will grow stronger. Economic development will grow broader.
"Terrorists want to turn the openness of the global economy against itself," Mr. Bush said. "We must not let them. We need customs, financial, immigration and transportation systems that make it easier for us to do our business and much harder for terrorists to do theirs.
"Pursuing both openness and security is difficult, but it is necessary, and it is the aim of the counterterror measures the APEC leaders will commit themselves to tomorrow," the president said.
The unprecedented joint declaration on terrorism is also expected to call to limit the economic fallout of the "murderous deeds" of Sept. 11 and press for a major U.N. role in the war on terror, according to APEC sources.
The APEC statement will stop short of endorsing the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan and will not refer specifically to bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, but Mr. Bush said he is pleased with world support for the war against terrorism.
"The coalition is broad and deep and strong and committed," he said yesterday. "Tomorrow, APEC leaders will pledge to work together to deny the terrorists any sanctuary, any funding, any material or moral support. Together, we will, patiently and diligently, pursue the terrorists from place to place until justice is done."
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin said after a meeting yesterday they hope the U.S.-led military operation to destroy the terrorist al Qaeda network will give way rapidly to a political solution.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said the two nations want the U.N. Security Council to play a prominent role. China and Russia both wield vetoes on Security Council decisions.
"It is necessary to pass from the military phase to the use of political means in the settlement in Afghanistan," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said after the leaders' meeting, "and to create a new coalition government in which all ethnic groups would participate."
Some leaders have been cool to the U.S. president Mr. Jiang expressed no remorse over the Sept. 11 attack and gave only a lukewarm endorsement of the U.S. war against terrorism but Mr. Bush praised Japan's commitment.
"We have no stronger friend in the fight against terror than the prime minister of Japan," he said. "I have been impressed by his resolve and determination."
Mr. Koizumi said Japan would do its utmost, short of waging offensive military action, to aid the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan: "Japan wants to support U.S. efforts through logistical assistance."
Just before their meeting, Mr. Bush was asked about the death of two soldiers killed in a helicopter crash. "The thing that's important for me to tell the American people, that these soldiers will not have died in vain," he said. "This is a just cause. It's an important cause."
Mr. Bush and Mr. Koizumi exchanged gifts the U.S. president offered a baseball mitt signed by future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles, and the Japanese prime minister delivered a bow and arrow, specially designed to whistle when fired to announce the beginning of a battle.

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