Chile has withdrawn as host of the APEC trade summit in November and the COP25 climate summit in December after several weeks of violent unrest, President Sebastian Pinera announced on Wednesday.
The APEC summit was scheduled to bring together 20 world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, over Nov. 16-17. The COP25 program was due to run between Dec. 2 and Dec. 13.
Riots, arson and protests over inequality this month have left at least 18 dead, 7,000 arrested and Chilean businesses hit with losses of around $1.4 billion. The capital city’s metro public transport suffered nearly $400 million in damages.
The cancellation of the trade summit caught the Trump administration by surprise, a White House official told Reuters.
The official said Washington learned about the decision from news reports and is seeking more information.