In Peru, Pence defends Syria military strike

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence right shakes hands with Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges during a meeting at the residence of the US ambassador in Lima Peru Friday

US officials have emphasized that the allied attack on Syria was not meant to provoke or punish Damascus, but rather sought to target the country's chemical arsenal specifically.

"The U.S. put on the table 75 percent instead of 85 percent for the regional content value of the vehicle and its core components", AMIA president Eduardo Solis said in a statement.

Pence said Saturday in a meeting with Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra at the Summit of the Americas in Lima that he's grateful for Vizcarra's role in withdrawing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's invitation to the summit.

VP Pence called the U.S. led airstrikes on Syria a success.

Pence's to-do list included smoothing over differences with Mexico, America's southern neighbor, amid unease over Trump's decision to send troops to the border and harsh rhetoric on immigration. Both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have argued against scrapping the $1.2 trillion deal. Pence took Trump's place at the summit so the president could remain in the U.S.to manage the response to the apparent chemical attack by Syria.

'Our message to Russian Federation is, "you're on the wrong side of history", ' Pence also said. Pence, meanwhile, tends to be more scripted in his exchanges and frequently glanced down at highlighted index cards as he spoke to Latin American leaders here. The U.S. led a missile strike in Syria earlier Saturday.

Unlike past appearances at worldwide summits, the vice president had to dive into the packed agenda on short notice.

In meeting after meeting, Pence offered a low-key, extended hand.

Pence credited the strong leadership of President Trump and US allies for conducting what he says was a successful strike with no reported civilian casualties. He acknowledged that the two have a difference of and said that some issues were "set aside, for a later date".

There had been expectations leading up to the meeting that NAFTA would dominate the discussion, particularly after conflicting messages from US trade officials and President Donald Trump earlier in the week.

President Donald Trump has long assailed the impact of NAFTA on USA workers and insisted on a new round of negotiations with Canada and Mexico on the deal.

The summit also gave Pence an opportunity to press the case for tougher sanctions and more isolation of Venezuela across the region.

He says President Donald Trump is sending his regrets that he couldn't attend the summit.

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