The Straits Times
Published on Sep 08, 2012

Australian PM to leave Apec summit after father dies


SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Saturday said she would leave Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) talks in Russia early because her elderly father had passed away at home.

In a statement, the prime minister said John Gillard died on Saturday morning in Adelaide and she planned to travel home as soon as possible "to grieve with my family". He was 93.

"He has battled illness in recent years but his death is a shock for me and my family," she said.

Ms Gillard arrived in the eastern city of Vladivostok on Friday for the high-level talks but failed to attend the opening session of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said.