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Chile calls off UN climate, Apec summits as protests go on


Chilean President Sebastian Pinera


Santiago: Chile on Wednesday announced it is pulling out of hosting a major United Nations climate change conference in December, as well as the Apec summit as anti-government protests continue in the South American nation, reports said.

President Sebastian Pinera said that the decision had "caused him a lot of pain" but that his government needed "to prioritise re-establishing public order", the BBC reported.

While the climate conference, known as COP25, was scheduled for December, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, expected to be attended by the US and Chinese Presidents, was to be held November 15-17.

According to White House officials, President Donald Trump had been planning to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Apec summit to discuss a possible trade deal.

At least 20 people have been killed since the mass protests over high inequality and cost of living began. While many protests were peaceful, there were also deadly incidents of arson and looting, as well as violent clashes between the security forces and protesters.

The agitation has shown little sign of abating despite the Chilean regime announcing measures to ease the people's Chileans' discontent and other grievances.

More than 7,000 people have been arrested and the response by Pinera's government to the protests has come under heavy criticism.

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