Mexican President Says He Will Not Attend D.C. Meeting With Trump
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he will not attend a planned Jan. 31 meeting with President Donald J. Trump, hours after Trump tweeted the meeting should be canceled if Mexico won’t pay for a border wall.
Pena Nieto’s message on Twitter ended days of uncertainty about what he would do.
Trump said Wednesday he would start building a U.S.-Mexico border wall and vowed to make Mexico pay for it. Mexico opposes the wall and has repeatedly said it won’t pay for it.
Trump tweeted Thursday that “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” in Washington D.C.
Former foreign relations secretary Jorge Castaneda told local media “Pena Nieto has no other choice but to say ‘I’m not going.'”
It also signaled a remarkable souring of relations between the U.S. and its immediate southern neighbor, one of America’s largest trading partners and a country with which it shares a nearly 2,000-mile border.
“Mexico reaffirms its willingness to work with the United States to reach agreements that benefit both nations,” he added.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the Mexican president’s announcement, saying: “We’ll look for a date to schedule something in the future. We will keep the lines of communication open.”