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Mexican leader, US VP Pence to meet over ties, NAFTA talks

Eduardo Solis President of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Mexico City Mexico

"I'll leave this summit very optimistic that individuals are extremely close to a re-negotiated NAFTA which is going to be much better deal for the American men and women", the Vicepresident stated, referring into the North American Free Trade Agreement involving the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

"We agreed to keep up work towards reaching a deal and to summon our special negotiating teams to accelerate their efforts", Pena Nieto told reporters after meeting Pence.

There are concerns U.S. -Mexico relations could get rockier with Pena Nieto, a centrist, unable to seek a second six-year term due to Mexico's term limits.

Pence said he was grateful for the opportunity to meet with the Mexican president, although he made no reference to Pena Nieto's call for "mutual respect".

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.

"There is a desire and a recognition by all three NAFTA partners that the timelines imposed upon us by both the upcoming, the imminent Mexican elections and the upcoming American midterms, means that we have a certain amount of pressure to try and move forward successfully in the coming weeks", Trudeau said. Last weekend's suspected chemical attack killed 40 civilians, including women and children. He learned only Tuesday that he would be attending in Trump's place so the president could manage the USA response to Syria.

He says President Donald Trump is sending his regrets that he couldn't attend the summit.

Shortly before Trump's address to the nation Friday night, Pence was whisked away from the summit in his motorcade so he could return to his hotel to inform congressional leaders of the pending missile strikes.

The vice president appreciated the Summit of the Americas after Trump earlier that week declared plans to attend the function he might craft a response to the chemical attack, which is why US authorities state there's proof of Assad's involvement.

There had been hopes leading up to this weekend's summit that an agreement might be signed, but that did not happen and instead, USA negotiators softened their demands on autos even as Trump said he will to renegotiate "forever".

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".