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Ibero-American Summit Leaders Pledge to Fight Terrorism - 2001-11-25

A summit of leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal has ended with a pledge to fight terrorism. The summit was also a show of solidarity in the face of the worldwide economic slowdown.

The presidents and representatives of the 21 nations declared they would fight acts of terrorism and not give aid nor refuge to anyone who promotes or participates in terrorist activities.

The global recession was also spotlighted during the seven hours of closed informal sessions at the Ibero-American summit. The leaders urged more fairness in international trade.

At a post summit news conference, Peru's president Alejandro Toledo called for wider access for Latin American countries to United States and European markets and suspension by the United States and Europe of agricultural and other subsidies.

"There are some practices of the industrialized nations that protect and subsidize their agriculture and other sectors which set up barriers for our products to penetrate their markets," President Toledo said.

President Toledo added Latin America is plagued by a fall in exports and raw material prices, difficulties in refinancing debt and the contraction of capital flows. He said the worldwide economic downturn illustrates how globalization and the interdependency of nations creates problems for developing nations. "Consequently in the global economic crisis, there is an adverse picture painted for our economies," he said. " Our challenge," he added, "is to prepare ourselves jointly to confront it."

In joint statements, the leaders addressed a number of other topics, promising to fight drug trafficking and oppose dictatorships. They also expressed support for women's role in development, human rights and access to information technology for their peoples. They praised Peru and Nicaragua for conducting fair elections. And they urged Argentina and Britain to settle their sovereignty dispute over the Falklands Islands, also called the Malvinas.

Next year's Ibero-American summit will take place in the Dominican Republic.