Trump cancels plans to visit South AmericaApril 10, 2018 21:37
US President Donald Trump has canceled plans to travel to South America to oversee the US' response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria, the White House today said.
Trump had been due to attend the summit of the Americas in Lima and travel to Colombia.
Vice-president Mike Pence will make the trip in his place.
It would have been Trump's first visit to Latin America as president, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Last week, bombs reportedly filled with toxic chemicals were dropped on Douma area in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, killing dozens of women and children.
The US has strongly opposed the chemical attack and accused Iran and Russia of backing the Syrian government that is being held responsible for carrying out the attack.
Pence will be embarking on the trip to South America on behalf of Trump who has stayed back to oversee America's response to Syria, Sanders said.
"Pence looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger US economy and working with our close allies in Latin America to collectively hold undemocratic actors in the region accountable for their actions," his spokesperson Jarrod Agen said.
Last year, Pence traveled to the region to meet with the presidents of Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama to increase the pressure against the Maduro regime and negotiate better trade deals that benefit American workers.
"While there, the Vice President met with a number of Venezuelan dissidents. Vice President Pence also hosted the Northern Triangle Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America as well. Next month, the Vice President will continue to advance US policies and commitment to the region when he travels to Brazil," Agen said. -- PTI