Gaddafi cancels Canadian stopover: CBC

Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:07pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has canceled a stopover next week in Canada, where he was due to be rebuked for giving a hero's welcome to the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, the CBC said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had asked foreign minister Lawrence Cannon to deliver an official protest to Gaddafi when he landed in St. John's, Newfoundland, on his return to Libya.

The Libyan leader spoke to the U.N. General Assembly in New York earlier this week, delivering a rambling, 94-minute address and he was in Venezuela on Saturday for a South America-Africa summit.

His plane was scheduled to land in St. John's for refueling on Tuesday and he was expected to spend the night in the Atlantic province, but the unofficial visit has been canceled, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said on its website (

It cited a Canadian government official.

A spokeswoman for Cannon could not be reached immediately for comment.

Gaddafi has come under blistering criticism for warmly receiving the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who is critically ill, returned to his homeland last month after Scottish authorities decided to free him on humanitarian grounds.

Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and has paid billions of dollars to families of the victims.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty; editing by Paul Simao)

<p>Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi attends the plenary session at the Africa-South America Summit in Margarita Island September 26, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins</p>