US President Donald Trump will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Peru this week, the White House said on Tuesday, citing a need to remain in the country to monitor the US response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Vice President Pence will travel to the gathering instead. “The President will remain in the US to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world.”
The trip, set to begin on Friday, would have been Trump’s first visit to Latin America since taking office, the Washington Post reported.
Trump vowed on Monday that the US would take swift action in retaliation for the suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria on Saturday, amid hurried diplomacy that signalled allied military strikes may be imminent.
The Trump administration, backed by France and Britain, began making a circumstantial case that Syria and its Russian and Iranian partners bore direct responsibility for the deaths of over 50 people in the opposition-held town of Douma, outside Damascus.