Harper lands in Germany as G8 summit approaches
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister John Baird arrived late Sunday in Europe to attend two world gatherings, including the Group of Eight summit of industrialized nations in Heiligendamm, Germany.
The first order of business for the prime minister,who wasaccompanied by his wife Laureen,is a Canada-European Union summit in Berlin on Monday.
OnTuesday, Harper will be in Paris for discussions with France's newpresident, Nicolas Sarkozy, and with French Prime Minister François Fillon.
The G8 summit, to be held inHeiligendamm from June 6 to 9, will be hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also welcoming leaders from the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Italy and Russia.
The gathering at the fenced-off coastal town will focus on global warming, aid to Africa and the global economy.
Harper is expected to argue at the meeting that any international deal on climate change must recognize Canada's special challenges in curbing greenhouse gases, and require the participation of developing countries such as China and India.
In the leadup to the summit, the nearby city of Rostock, Germany has become a gathering spot for tens of thousands of protesters hoping to draw attention to causes, including anti-globalization and the war in Iraq.
Weekend of protest
Violent protests in Rostock over the weekend have left at least400 police officers and 520 demonstrators injured, officials say.
On Sunday, a small group of protesters turned violent during a largelypeaceful anti-globalization rally.
Police trying to disperse the crowds were pelted with stones, bottles and sticks as the day-long demonstration expanded and became more violent.
"The police were attacked massively from the violent protesters. They threw bottles, firecrackers, rocks and Molotov cocktails," a police spokesman told the Associated Press.
About 30,000 demonstrators clashed with 13,000 police officers on Saturday in Rostock.
Some demonstrators urged action from the G8 countries in the fight against HIV/AIDS, African poverty and climate change, while others questioned the legitimacy of theGroup of Eight itself.