Donald Trump to skip South America summit, will send Mike Pence

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a briefing from senior military leadership at the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington DC

Maduro also took a jab at the decision by Donald Trump to not attend the summit, saying that the USA president's absence demonstrated his "disdain" for the region.

He was then due to meet with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota on Saturday for a bilateral meeting between their nations.

The amount of parties involved in the Syrian conflict, both on the opposition and governmental sides, make retaliation against a chemical attack incredibly complicated.

President Trump also dealt with major problems on two fronts this week: how he would respond to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid of his lawyer Michael Cohen.

In addition to managing the potential USA response to last weekend's attack in Syria, Trump has been monitoring what he fears may be a migrant crisis at the US border with Mexico.

Trump believes he has the power to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the election, the White House said on Tuesday. "But no other country in the region seems prepared to take that step", Gedan said.

Mr Obama told the assembled Latin American rulers that America wanted to help their countries develop economically, but that the old era of unwanted American interference were over. Vice President Mike Pence will act in Trump's role at the summit. But two days before the event, the embattled president cited that since Peru "had removed all the security guarantees for the Venezuelan delegation", he would stay home.

USA and North Korea 'holding secret talks' ahead of meeting
She said the U.S.is deeply concerned about the state of North Korean citizens' well-being. The working-level talks began on Saturday morning at a facility on the North side.

A planned face-to-face meeting with Nieto was expected to cover trade between the US and Mexico, which has been fraught with controversy over Trump's insistence that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be renegotiated.

Ambassador Roger Noriega said Rubio will be careful not to overstep Pence, but he said his role could be more significant. Souring relations with Mexico and the ongoing trade negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement were expected to hang over the meeting.

A Peruvian diplomat who asked not to be named said it might be easier for regional leaders to tackle tough issues ranging from corruption to Venezuela without Trump looming over the talks.

The U.S.is working to coordinate Latin American countries on a pressure campaign against Venezuela's government.

No one can replace the president, but the other 30 or so Latin American leaders at the summit know that Rubio has Trump's ear and is seen as the president's principal adviser on Western Hemisphere issues, particularly those involving Venezuela and Cuba.

Trump has reversed some of President Barack Obama's diplomatic and economic outreach to Cuba, including pulling many US diplomats out of the country following unexplained health attacks on Americans previous year. (New York Times, Washington Post).

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