Trump Cancels his Participation at 8th Summit of the Americas

Trump Cancels his Participation at 8th Summit of the Americas

"At the President's request, the Vice President will travel in his stead".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Tuesday that Trump will not attend the 8th Summit of the in Lima, Peru or travel to Bogota, Colombia as planned.

President Donald Trump will not attend the Summit of Americas and will instead remain in the U.S. to "oversee the American response to Syria", the White House announced Tuesday. In that time, however, he has undertaken more distant trips to Europe, Asia and the Middle East on several occassions.

The American president met the country's military leadership Monday night to discuss the USA response to an alleged chemical attack outside of Damascus blamed on the Assad regime that killed dozens of people and injured hundreds of others.

The decision marks the first time a USA president has not attended the summit.

Prior to the start of last night's meeting with the military brass, Trump told reporters the U.S.is "getting some very good clarity" on who carried out the attack, saying the public would know "pretty soon" about the USA military retaliation.

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White House officials said the decision to miss the summit was made Monday, adding that the raid of the office of Trump attorney Michael Cohen was not a factor in the decision. Trump oversaw that response from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump values his European allies and has often said so. "I don't like talking about timing", he said. The U.S.is working to coordinate Latin American countries on a pressure campaign against Venezuela's government. It will be interesting to see how Vice President Pence manages the situation at the summit, and how the other countries react to him. It's also a missed opportunity for Trump to build bridges in the region; he's widely unpopular with Latin Americans thanks, in part, to his statements on immigration.

Pence travelled to Latin America in August 2017, visiting Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama.

Trump during a meeting with senior military leadership in Washington on April 9.

Many Latin American leaders had hoped to have their first face-to-face encounter with the US President.

"He looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger USA economy and working with our close allies in Latin America to collectively hold undemocratic actors in the region accountable for their actions".

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