After concerns over increased regional tension and territorial conflicts were raised in the wake of the Paris attacks, security for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit has been strengthened. The meeting will focus on development of trade and economy.
Among the head of states attending the two-day summit on Wednesday and Thursday include U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as reported by Voice of America. The Philippines government has said that extreme security measures will be deployed to ensure the safety of 7,000 officials and other attendees.
Some of these measures include closure of roads, deployment of security forces and presence of barricades in parts of Metro Manila. As many as 30,000 military, police and civilian personnel have been called to secure the summit. This comes after a series of coordinated attacks rocked the French capital last week, an incident that killed 129 people.
In addition, 13 aircraft have been placed on standby by the Philippine Air Force. The Philippine Navy has deployed two former U.S. coast guard cutters and a dozen smaller watercraft in Manila Bay. During Obama’s stay, the USS Fitzgerald will remain in Manila Bay, Inquirer.net reports.
Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Albert del Rosario, said that almost all meetings conducted on Tuesday addressed the Paris attacks, despite the subject not being on the APEC agenda. “Everyone expressed condolences to the families of the victims for the terrorist acts,” del Rosario said. “There was a call for unity of nations and people. And there was additionally a call for bringing to justice those who perpetrated these horrific developments in Paris last Friday.”
The security measures for the APEC summit were more stringent than when Pope Francis visited in January. According to a security official, security deployment was four times stricter compared to the pope’s five-day visit. “It’s very strict. The security. It’s beyond the papal visit, it’s different. And it’s good,” Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez, the deputy chief for operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said.