U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha hold a Chalom, a bamboo basket symbolizing the “handing over of the baton,” as the U.S. is the next summit host during the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 19, 2022.
Harris took part in a handover ceremony in which Prayuth handed over chairmanship of APEC to the United States, which will host the group’s meetings next year.
Leaders from around the Asia-Pacific called for an end to Russia’s war on Ukraine and pledged to steer the region’s economies toward sustainable growth as they wrapped up summit meetings.
Host Thailand garnered a diplomatic coup in managing to bridge divisions among the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum by saying that most members had condemned the war.
Russia is an APEC member, as is China, which generally has refrained from criticizing Moscow.
The declaration issued by APEC leaders acknowledged differing views on the war and said the forum, which is devoted largely to promoting trade and closer economic ties, was not a venue for resolving such conflicts.
The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum’s long-term mission is promoting closer economic ties, but its summits often are sidetracked by other more urgent issues.
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