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President Donald Trump to visit Peru, Colombia next month

WASHINGTON — The White House confirmed Saturday U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with regional leaders in Peru next month, a visit that will mark his first trip as president to Latin America.

“This travel demonstrates the President’s resolve to deepen our historical ties with our partners in the region and to strengthen our joint commitment to improve security and prosperity for the people of the Americas,” a White House statement said.

VOA News confirmed that Trump will meet with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and join leaders at the Summit of the Americas in the Peruvian capital of Lima. Trump will then travel to Colombia to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos.

During the trip, Trump “will participate in a series of bilateral, multilateral, and cultural engagements” and will emphasize “fair and reciprocal trade, and secure borders.”

U.S. presidents have attended all seven previous summits, which Washington views as a premier forum for projecting U.S. leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The regional summit, which began in 1994, is seen as the leading forum for the United States to influence events across the region. The decision ends speculation that tense relations between the United States and some of its southern neighbors could cause Trump to skip the summit.

Trump has been critical of Latin American policies over drugs and trade and has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration from the region to the United States. This year’s Summit of the Americas will be held in Lima, Peru, from April 13-14.

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