Trump cancels Latin America trip, cites Syria concerns

Colombia goes to the polls on 27 May

"The president will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The planned South America trip was meant to see Trump attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima, the capital city of Peru.

The U.S. will still be represented at the Summit of the Americas, but Vice President Pence will be there, not Trump.

Trump said late Monday that the US will respond "forcefully" to a suspected chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime over the weekend, after suggesting earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin may share responsibility.

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"Trump's dropping out of the Lima summit is an appalling demonstration of disrespect for Latin America", Richard E. Feinberg, a senior Latin America fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The New York Times.

In April 2017, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.

His travel plans changed after a Saturday night attack on the Syrian town of Douma which killed at least 60 people and injured more than 1,000 others. Trump has vowed to respond "forcefully", warning that Russian Federation or any other nation found to share responsibility will "pay a price". The list of South and Central Americas leaders slated to attend who Trump has panned includes the leaders of Mexico, Honduras and Cuba. "This is about humanity and it can't be allowed to happen", Trump told reporters at the White House.

The summit would have been Trump's first trip to the region. He can work on his relationship with South America later, when he can stomach meeting its leaders.

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