BUSAN, South Korea -- Pacific Rim leaders called on Europe to be more flexible during world trade negotiations, warning yesterday that talks next month could be the last chance to make progress on freeing markets anytime soon.
The leaders, opening a two-day summit of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, urged Europe to be open to compromise at December's World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong.
Disputes, mainly over subsidies protecting European farmers, have dampened hopes for the talks.
''We're basically saying that now the ball is in Europe's court," Ban Ki Moon, South Korean foreign minister, told reporters in the port city of Busan.
As the leaders met, riot police sprayed rock-throwing protesters with high- powered water hoses about 1,500 feet from the summit venue. At least one person was arrested and 11 officers were injured, police said. Some 4,000 protesters, led by farmers angry about plans to open up South Korea's rice market, joined the march. A river separated the demonstration from the summit, which wasn't interrupted.
Tens of thousands of security forces were deployed against potential terrorist attacks and to keep protesters away from buildings where leaders were meeting.
The leaders, including President Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, worked to revive stalled trade talks while pledging unity in combating bird flu and terrorism.
Ban said the leaders ''were asking for a very active and flexible attitude in negotiations from the Europeans."
Failure at the WTO talks could mean ''it would be a very long time before we have another opportunity to make progress in the negotiations," the leaders said, according to Ban. ''There is a possibility that we might lose momentum in the negotiations if we don't do something at the Hong Kong meeting."
Stephen Hadley, US national security adviser, told reporters the United States, Europe, and Japan should move toward lifting agricultural tariffs, barriers, and some subsidies.
''There was a recognition that in order to achieve success, everybody needs to do . . . their part," he said.
Still, Hadley said progress must ''be matched among other countries for a commitment to move toward freer and fairer trade."
President Vicente Fox of Mexico said the leaders agreed to issue a statement on the WTO talks that, while not citing Europe, would bring pressure to bear on the continent.
''Now is the turn for Europe to move," he said, singling out France and Spain.
APEC, whose members include seven of the 13 largest economies, represents more than a third of the world's population, about 60 percent of the global economy, and nearly half of world trade.