Stephen Harper Cancels For Kaczynski's Funeral, Volcano Eruption
Stephen Harper Has Been Forced to Cancel His Trip to Poland for Lech Kaczynski's Funeral
Due to the lingering cloud of volcanic ash in the sky from the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland, Stephen Harper had to cancel his trip to Poland for the funeral of the late President Lech Kaczynski.
Mr. Harper made his decision early on Saturday morning after the ash has not cleared and flights are still canceled all over Europe; it was just not possible for Mr. Harper to make the trip safely. He was going to attend the funeral with the leaders of all the opposition parties as well, but after pushing their departure time back to Saturday afternoon, they then had to cancel as it is not safe or possible to fly.
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Dimitri Soudas, Mr. Harper's Director of Communications told the National Post:
Given the dangers of flying through volcanic ash, it is simply not possible. We've been advised that the dangers are real and for security purposes obviously it remains impossible for the prime minister to be able to travel there
Mr. Harper expressed disappointment at not being able to attend the funeral, but he is just one of several leaders who are having trouble reaching Poland. President Obama was scheduled to fly out on Saturday afternoon but has since canceled and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is still trying to reach Poland in time.
Andrus Ansip, the Estonian Prime Minister decided to drive to the funeral and Valdis Zatlers, Latvia's President also opted to drive rather than fly.
The airports in Poland are still closed on Saturday due to the massive cloud of volcanic ash.