White House: Trump Will Not Attend Latin American Summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters/AP) -

President Donald Trump will not attend the Latin American summit this week in order to focus on the Syria crisis, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president will not attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, or travel to Bogota, Colombia, as planned, remaining in the United States to “oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world.”

The decision marks the first time an American president has not attended the summit. Vice President Mike Pence will travel in Trump’s place.

President Trump on Monday promised a decision on Syria within hours, declaring that Russia or any other nation found to share responsibility for Saturday’s apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians will “pay a price.”