Canada's Harper cancels trip to Beijing for APEC meeting

Updated: 2014-10-28 22:56


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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper canceled attending the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit (APEC) in Beijing to remain in Ottawa for a national holiday that commemorates soldiers killed in the line of duty.

The annualRemembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa on Nov 11 coincides with the APEC summit in China on Nov 10-11.

"The Prime Minister feels it particularly important to be here in Canada, at the National War Memorial, for the ceremony,"Harper's chief spokesman Jason MacDonald said on Monday.

Harper's decision follows thefatal shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier, in Ottawalast week by a gunman in whatpolice are calling a terrorist attack. The incident came two days afterWarrant Officer Patrice Vincent, also Canadiansoldier, waskilled in a Quebec hit-and-run accident.Harper said that incident was also a terrorist attack.

Cirillo was standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, site of the Remembrance Day ceremony, which honors members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast will lead Canada's delegation to the November meeting in Beijing, according to Harper's office, andHarper will still travel to Australia for the Nov. 15-16 summit of leaders of the G-20 Group of industrial and developing economies as scheduled.