Chilean President Sebastián Piñera says ongoing protests have compelled him to call off two major international summits that his country had been scheduled to host.
Piñera announced Wednesday that the Asia-Pacific summit set for November 16-17 and the global climate gathering planned for December 2-13 will no longer take place.
“This has been a very difficult decision, a decision that causes us a lot of pain, because we fully understand the importance of Apec and Cop 25 for Chile and for the world,” Piñera said in a brief statement from La Moneda palace in Santiago.
Climate talks would have focused on the state of the world's oceans. They also hoped to motivate national commitments to reducing emissions in the coming year.
The Apec summit would have brought together 20 world leaders, including Donald Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
Chile has seen 12 days of massive protests to demand greater economic equality and better public services in a country long seen by many as an economic success story. The demonstrations have been accompanied by some vandalism and arson, which forced the shutdown of numerous subway stations.