Mexican President Calls Off Meeting With Trump
Jan 27, 2017 01:12 PM EST
Enrique Peña Nieto, the President of Mexico, has called off a meeting with the US President, Donald Trump following a tension that flared up over Trump's plan to build a wall on the southern border. The meeting that had been set for next week, was cancelled on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, Peña Nieto mentioned that he did not see the need to continue the meeting with Trump, and strongly asserted that the Mexican government will not fund any border wall. "Mexico does not believe in walls. I've said time again, Mexico will not pay for any wall," the Mexican president said in a video address posted on Twitter.
Peña Nieto, who is currently delegating government agencies and the Department of Foreign Relations to reinforce the protection measures for immigrants; added that 50 Mexican consulates in the US will be used to defend the rights of immigrants in the country, issuing a call to action to legislators and civic organizations to help immigrants.
Trump also spoke about the cancellation during a gathering of congressional Republicans in Philadelphia, explaining that he and the Mexican president had agreed on not to continue with the official meeting - while strictly emphasizing that the US won't fund the wall. "Unless Mexico treats the US fairly, and with respect, such meeting is fruitless, and I want to go a different route," Trump told House and Senate GOP lawmakers. "Border security is a serious, serious issue. Most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border," Trump noted, adding that the US's trade deficit with Mexico and the epidemic of American job losses caused by NAFTA are serious national problems.
The conflict between the two leaders began last year during the first days of the Trump campaign when he called some Mexicans entering the US, criminals and rapists. While tensions grew worse throughout the 2016 contest, they escalated sharply over the last 24 hours when Trump issued executive orders on Wednesday to initiate the process of building a wall.