Bogota: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is battling cancer, will not attend the Sixth Summit of the Americas as advised by his doctors, said the country's foreign minister on Saturday. The announcement was made just ahead of the summit's opening in a press release by Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, as reported.

A day earlier, President Chavez had called for cancellation of the summit, saying the gathering of regional leaders shuns fundamental issues like Argentina's claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands (Falkland Islands in Britain) and Cuba's exclusion from the hemispheric event. The 57-year-old leftist leader also announced that he would travel to Cuba again Saturday to continue his treatment of cancer which was diagnosed in June last year. Having ruled Venezuela for 13 years, Chavez has vowed to overcome cancer and win the re-election in October for a third term.