Ivanka To Officially Represent U.S. Interests While Meeting With Foreign Leaders

The White House/Public Domain

Ivanka Trump is part of the U.S. delegation attending this week's summit with Latin American leaders.

President Donald Trump will not attend a meeting with Latin American leaders this week, sending instead a delegation of U.S. officials in in his place -- and one of those officials is none other than the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump.

The president indicated he will stay behind to continue addressing the alleged chemical attack in Syria.

The President had to cancel "given the atrocity that occurred in Syria", which required him to be "engaged in on that topic and related topics", one official said without elaborating.

However, a "very high-level delegation" would still be representing the US, the officials said.

They listed Ms Ivanka Trump and Mr Pence along with top US officials for trade, foreign aid and investment. Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner - who, like her, is a senior adviser to the President - was also to attend.

Ivanka said her role at the summit will be to promote the economic empowerment of women and that she is "extremely excited" for her visit.

"Women's economic empowerment in the Americas is a key element of the President's commitment to advance our shared goals and objectives in the hemisphere," a senior administration official added.

Some in the region interpret President Trump's absence this week as a sign that Latin America is less significant to his administration:

"For Trump, Latin America, with the possible exception of Mexico, is at the level of his vice president," said Mr Kevin Casas, a former Costa Rican vice president who is now director of the consulting firm Analitica Consultures.

"That's a message everybody has more or less picked up and how the region will read it. Including China," he said.