President Trump, Mexican President Nieto shelve White House meeting
President Trump, Mexican President Nieto shelve White House meeting
US President Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Oxon Hill Maryland
25 February, 2018, 19:50
Tentative plans for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to make his first visit to the White House to meet with President Trump were scuttled this week after a testy call between the two leaders ended in an impasse over Trump's promised border wall, according to us and Mexican officials.
Citing US and Mexican officials, the Post said Trump "would not agree to publicly affirm Mexico's position that it would not fund construction of a border wall that the Mexican people widely consider offensive".
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (r.) canceled his trip to the US after a testy phone chat with President Donald Trump (l.) over the border wall.
Pena Nieto, who leaves office in December, still hopes the meeting will happen at some point, said the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the private planning.
The phone call took place last Tuesday.
Trump had previously hinted at the possibility of imposing an import tax on Mexican goods entering the country as a way to generate funding for the wall.
"We enjoy a great relationship with Mexico and the two administrations have been working for a year to deepen our cooperation across a range of issues including security, immigration, trade and economics", said National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton.
"If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore, because I can not live with that", Trump continued. Trump last month indicated that he could be flexible with Nafta talks ahead of Mexico's July presidential election - and then repeated his threat to withdraw if he can't reach an agreement that's "fair" for America. Pena Nieto isn't eligible for reelection.
A tentative plan for President Trump to host his Mexican counterpart in Washington has been put on hold.
Peña Nieto tried to push Trump to say Mexico will not pay for the border wall.
The leaders did meet once, on the sidelines of the G20 summit of major economies in Hamburg, Germany, last July.
Pena Nieto's visit had been considered for February or March, the Post said, but the Mexican leader wanted to avoid public embarrassment.
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