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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 January 2019

Donald Trump cancels Davos trip over shutdown at home

He blamed the Democrats' "intransigence" over the shutdown for his decision

President Donald Trump shared the news on Twitter. Reuters
President Donald Trump shared the news on Twitter. Reuters

President Donald Trump on Thursday cancelled his trip to the annual international conference at Davos, blaming the row in Washington over building wall on the border with Mexico.

"I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum," he said in a tweet.

Mr Trump blamed opposition Democrats' "intransigence" over his demand for $5.7 billion to extend a border wall with Mexico. As a side-effect of the row, swaths of the US government are temporarily closed, leaving more than 800,000 employees without pay.

The president told reporters at the White House earlier on Thursday that he intended to speak at the forum, which runs between January 21-25, but would not attend if the shutdown continued.

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The cancellation quashes any opportunity for Mr Trump to meet other world leaders about economic and trade issues.

The Trump administration is engaged in trade talks with the European Union and China, among others.

Mr Trump's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is likely to lead the US delegation to the forum instead of his boss.

Last year, a brief government shutdown threatened to derail his trip to Davos, but he ended up making the trip and said that his "America First" agenda can go hand-in-hand with global co-operation.

Updated: January 11, 2019 09:50 AM

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