Unclear if Trump will attend Summit of the Americas

It is unclear if US President Donald Trump  -- speaking here at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit in Washington -- will attend the Summit of the Americas event in April in Lima, Peru
AFP

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump may yet skip this year’s Summit of the Americas in Peru, officials said Wednesday, amid sour US relations with southern neighbors.

“Summit attendance has not been confirmed” a White House official told AFP, after Trump spoke by phone with the host, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

An official White House statement on the call was mute on whether Trump would make the journey for the April 13-14 event, which brings together leaders from the Western Hemisphere.

“The two leaders discussed the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which Peru will host next month,” the statement read. “They agreed to continue to work together on issues of mutual interest.”

If Trump does eventually travel to Lima, he is likely to encounter protests and a hesitant welcome from fellow heads of state and government.

Throughout his election campaign and his presidency, Trump has maligned Hispanic migrants and attacked Latin American nations over drugs, trade and the movement of people.

He has promised to build a wall on the US border with Mexico and threatened to tear up a trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

The first Summit of the Americas took place in Miami in 1994, and it has long been a forum for the United States to influence events across in the Western Hemisphere.

Then president Barack Obama used the last summit, in 2015 in Panama, to meet Cuban leader Raul Castro for the first time and to try and isolate the Venezuelan regime.

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