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ARGENTINA | 12-04-2018 13:28

US Vice-President Pence confirms he will meet with Macri in Peru

US Vice-President, who will stand in for US President Donald Trump at event in Peru, will meet four Latin American leaders during trip.

President Mauricio Macri will meet with US Vice-President Mike Pence during his trip to Peru this weekend for the Summit of the Americas, the White House has confirmed.

Pence plans to meet with four Latin American leaders in total during his weekend trip to Lima for the summit, where will fill in for US President Donald Trump, who announced his withdrawal from the trip earlier this week.

Trump will be the first sitting US president to skip the summit since its formation. The president pulled out of the summit to oversee the US response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria.

During his trip to Lima on Friday and Saturday, Pence will also meet with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra, the White House said. Officials also revealed that the US vice-president is expected to hold a multi-lateral meeting with several Caribbean leaders.

Pence is expected to try to counter Chinese attempts to increase its economic influence in the Americas. The trip comes as the Trump administration is embroiled in an escalating trade fight with China and as the president has been pushing a tougher line on immigration and seeking stronger protections along the US-Mexican border.

With the White House's support, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been barred from the meeting over his plans to hold a presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and many foreign governments consider a sham. The US has sanctioned Maduro and dozens of top officials, accusing the country of human rights abuses and sliding into a dictatorship.

President Macri had a private meeting scheduled with Trump in Peru, but will now have to make do with the former reality TV star's second-in-command. Pence previously visited Argentina in August last year, stopping in Bariloche and Buenos Aires.

- TIMES/AP

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