US VP Pence thanks Canada for backing Syria strikes, optimistic on NAFTA

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves as he arrives at Jorge Chavez international airport in Lima Peru Friday

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves as he arrives at Jorge Chavez international airport in Lima Peru Friday

Pence, who was also scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, struck a notably confident tone, saying USA officials "think we're close" and were "encouraged at the progress of our negotiations".

And while Trump grapples with the ongoing Russian Federation investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, Pence sought to draw a bright line against Vladimir Putin's alliance with Syria following the suspected chemical attack.

US Vice President Mike Pence has offered justification for the US-led military strike on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

Further Pence said that "minimum" chlorine was used in the attack along with serin.

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White also said the United States is "very confident" that the Assad regime was behind the chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Pence, however, justified the attack by merely stating that the U.S. did not act alone, claiming that other leaders at the Latin American summit had both publicly and privately expressed support for the Syria bombardment.

The meeting with Pence was announced on Friday and follows Trump's push to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border to fight illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

"And we are hopeful that we can conclude a successful renegotiation of NAFTA that will result in greater prosperity and more fair and reciprocal trade between Canada, the United States and Mexico". The Mexican leader said they will discuss NAFTA and other parts of their relationship involving "cooperation and mutual respect". Earlier in the day, Pence met separately with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Trudeau expressed optimism that the three neighbors could reach an agreement on a renegotiated NAFTA, telling Pence there was "positive momentum" in the talks.

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Bob Menendez , a New Jersey Democrat, says that is simply the baseline expectation for the role. He gave similar lackluster answers on specific policy issues.

This comes two months after an attempt to schedule a meeting in Washington between Pena Nieto and the United States president was called off due to Trump's harsh rhetoric regarding NAFTA and immigration.

While the crisis in Syria was front and centre, Trudeau and Pence also expressed optimism about the state of NAFTA negotiations, the results of which will have dramatic ramifications for the USA and Canada. Pence, for his part, told Trudeau that the USA was "encouraged" by the progress and hopeful it can lead to "more fair and reciprocal trade".

But while Pence struck a notably confident tone, saying USA officials "think we're close", he went much farther a few hours later when he suggested a deal could be finished in a few weeks.

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