Peruvian Leader Abandons Hillary Clinton at News Conference

Maybe it was something she didn't say.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia Perez walked out on Secretary Hillary Clinton on Monday during a joint news conference in Lima, Peru, creating an awkward moment for the secretary of state.

Garcia made a statement in Spanish, praising Clinton for being "a woman who represents modernity, a woman who has fought a virtuous struggle for women's rights for a very long time."

He then walked out of the room, leaving Clinton alone to wait for the translation of his comments and to make her own remarks to reporters.

"Well, first let me thank the president for his very kind hospitality today," she said without a hint of irony. Later, she apologized for "keeping him so late that he was behind in his schedule." Then Clinton excused herself, saying she had a meeting to attend.

Pedro Bravo, an official in the Peruvian embassy's political department, told that it's "not rare" for Peruvian leaders to meet the press individually. But he added he didn't know the details of Perez's ditching of Clinton.

Other officials in the Peru Embassy and officials in the U.S. State Department did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Clinton was in Peru as part of her weeklong trip to Latin America and the Caribbean for the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), which bills itself as "the Western Hemisphere's premier multilateral organization."

In his statement, Garcia cited Clinton's work as first lady, advocating for women's rights in Beijing and her unsuccessful bid for health care overhaul.

"So we know that she has a calling to serve women, to serve the poor, to serve the people," he said. "And that is why we are very happy to have her here to show that this is – her presence here shows that our friendship will continue our friendship with Peru and the United States."

Former President Bill Clinton headed to Lima Tuesday to meet with Garcia and receive the keys to the city from the mayor, Luis Castaneda Lossio.