NAFTA deal close, Pence tells reporters


The vice president attended the Summit of the Americas after Trump earlier this week canceled plans to attend the event so he could craft a response to the chemical attack, for which US officials say there's proof of Assad's involvement.

For his part, Pence thanked Canada for backing the strikes and echoed Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron in saying Syria's chemical-weapons facilities had been "degraded and crippled".

"The objective of the mission the commander in chief gave our military forces and our allies was completely accomplished - with swift professionalism", Pence told reporters, noting there were "no reported civilian casualties". "Our message to Russian Federation is that you're on the wrong side of history", Pence said. "That you're known by the company you keep".

"Our concept into Russian is, 'You're on the wrong side of record, ' & " Pence stated.

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

Pence left the summit late Friday so he could confer with US congressional leaders by telephone from his hotel suite about Trump's plans to announce the missile strikes.

"This is something we can not accept, the use of chemical weapons on civilians", Trudeau said, "and the global community needs to continue to stand extremely strongly as we continue to hold Syria accountable".

Seeking rapprochement with Mexico, which has been at odds with Trump over the border wall and immigration, Pence said the topic of funding for Trump's long-promised border wall did not come up in his meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

But US relations with Mexico had soured in recent weeks as US President Donald Trump has sought to link the trade talks to Mexican efforts to stop migrants illegally crossing the border into the US, and ordered National Guard troops to the border.

He says they discussed the fact that both countries have strong presidents with strong personalities who are bound to have strong differences at times.

Pence held brief bilateral talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Saturday about the state of play in their NAFTA renegotiations, saying he was "encouraged" by recent progress towards a deal.

A new North American free trade deal appeared closer to reality on Saturday, after U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence became the latest Trump administration official to suggest an agreement could be reached within a matter of weeks. "Plus it is going to have kind of fairness that may permit us to go forward in a productive, mutually helpful association".