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Trump to attend Summit of the Americas meeting in Peru

AP  |  Lima (Peru) 

US will attend the upcoming Summit of the Americas, officials said Friday, putting him face-to-face with Western Hemisphere leaders, many of whom are upset by his policies and rhetoric toward the region.

The regional summit next month in is seen as the leading forum for projecting U.S. leadership in and the

US presidents have participated in all seven previous gatherings, but with Trump's anti-immigrant statements, proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border and stance on trade stirring anger throughout the region, many wondered if he would attend.

"There will be some very uncomfortable meetings there," said Christopher Sabatini, a at

A high-ranking Peruvian confirmed Trump's visit to for the summit. The spoke to on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the April event. later said Trump will visit after

In recent years, US leaders have faced sharp rebukes from leftist Latin Americans at the periodic gathering and this year's event is likely to be no different.

But the upcoming summit is also generating controversy because of a leader at the other end of the political spectrum: Venezuelan

Peruvian leaders have repeatedly said Maduro isn't invited to attend as international criticism grows over Venezuela's human rights record and the nation's increasingly autocratic government.

But Maduro recently said he is determined to attend, "rain, shine or lightning." "By air, land or sea - I will get to the Summit of the to tell the truth of this country," he vowed at a conference for international journalists.

Mercedes Araoz, the of Peru's Cabinet of Ministers, later quipped back that Maduro cannot come by "land nor Peruvian airspace because he is not welcome."

and the have emerged as two of the most outspoken nations in voicing their objections to Maduro's rule as struggles with hyperinflation, and medical shortages, and a growing exodus of its citizens fleeing to other parts of the region.

Both have also criticized snap being held in April that key opposition leaders are boycotting. Peruvian reiterated Friday that Maduro is not invited, saying only presidents committed to "governability, democracy and fighting corruption" can attend.

"There's a real risk of a very undiplomatic showdown that could occur," Sabatini said of the ongoing squabble with Maduro. "He's already been disinvited. It would be strange, odd to have him re-invited. And if he should just show up, can Peru deny him entry?"

Former US first invited all hemispheric leaders except Cuba's to gather in in 1994 to promote a free trade zone ranging from to the tip of

US leaders have gotten an earful from their Latin American counterparts in more recent years.

Protesters led by soccer legend burned an effigy of President to protest the US-led invasion of at the 2005 summit in Four years later, the late Venezuelan leader famously gave then President a copy of a classic leftist book, "The Open Veins of Latin America," detailing the history of U.S. military interventions in the region.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 15:50 IST