Canceling the meeting is a matter of Mexican dignity, voices across the country have told President Peña Nieto.
Update: Mexico’s President has announced he will not travel to the U.S. to meet with Trump. President Peña Nieto made the statement from his own Twitter account:
Esta mañana hemos informado a la Casa Blanca que no asistiré a la reunión de trabajo programada para el próximo martes con el @POTUS.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) January 26, 2017
(REPORT) — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday morning his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto should only follow through with his upcoming visit to Washington if Mexico plans on paying for Trump’s proposed border wall
“The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers … of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly-needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting,” Trump said on Twitter.
of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
In a recorded speech to the nation on Wednesday, Peña Nieto forcefully reiterated that Mexico would not pay for Trump’s border wall, but he neither confirmed nor canceled his planned trip to the U.S. next week to meet with the U.S. President after the latter signed an executive order for building a wall across the U.S.-Mexican border..
“Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said time again: Mexico will not pay for any wall,” Peña Nieto said in the statement released through his official Twitter account.
Released in response to President Trump’s signing of an executive order on Wednesday initiating construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and amidst growing pressure from Mexicans to cancel his meeting with Trump, Peña Nieto’s statement attempted to reassure Mexicans living in the U.S.who are increasingly under threat from both the rhetoric and policies of the new U.S. president.
“I’ve asked for the minister of foreign relations to re-enforce protection measures to our citizens,” he said, adding that all 50 Mexican consulates in the U.S. will be directed to help defend Mexican migrants living in the U.S.
While expressing “regret” and “rejection” of Trump’s decision to build a border wall and increase deportations, he emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Mexican relationship.
“Mexico offers its friendship to the people of the United States and expresses its wish to arrive at agreements with its government, deals that will be in favor of Mexico and the Mexicans,” he said.
While he did not cancel next week’s meeting with Trump, he pointedly did not confirm it, suggesting that his ultimate decision will depend on the outcome of preliminary meetings taking place this week in Washington with the Mexican foreign minister and key Trump administration officials.
The decision to rethink the visit came amid an outcry in Mexico calling on the unpopular president to cancel the trip and take a tough stance in the face of Trump. On Twitter, Trump’s executive order was referred to as “an offense to Mexico,” a “slap in the face” and a “monument to lies.”
In a national address Wednesday night, Pena Nieto said he “regrets and disapproves” of the push by Trump to build the wall.
Speaking earlier in the day as Trump gave the orders to start work on the wall along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico, two-time presidential runner-up and leftist opposition leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called on the government of Mexico to “present a lawsuit at the United Nations against the U.S. government for violation of human rights and racial discrimination.
“I think the least he could do under such conditions is to… cancel the visit to the United States as a matter of dignity for Mexico,” said Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, a former presidential candidate and founder of the social-democratic Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD.
“We cannot accept a humiliated president,” he added during a conference over Trump’s decision to build the wall.
Prominent Mexican writer and journalist Juan Villoro also chimed in on the debate. “We have a U.S. president who builds a wall and a Mexican president who only talks about the wall.”
National Action Party (PAN) politician and state governor of Guanajuato, Miguel Marquez, criticized President Peña Nieto for not recalling Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo from Washington, where the two are preparing a visit for the Mexican leader scheduled for Jan. 31.
The fact Trump announced his decision to sign the executive order on Twitter was in “bad taste,” according to Marquez. “I would tell Luis Videgaray and Ildefonso Guajardo to come back immediately,” he added.
Earlier in the day, President Trump ordered the construction of a 2,000-mile wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, a cornerstone of his campaign message.
He has also vowed to crack down on U.S. cities that shield undocumented immigrants, proceeding quickly on sweeping and divisive plans to curb immigration and boost national security.