US, Mexican Leaders Agree to Work Out Differences on Wall

Washington, US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto recognized their differences on Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern US border but have agreed to “work these differences out”, the White House said.

“With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship,” the White House said in a statement.

The two leaders spoke by telephone Friday, a day after tensions between the two leaders flared over construction of a wall on the border between their countries.

Mexico confirmed what it characterized as a “constructive and productive” telephone conversation between the two leaders a day after Pena Nieto scrapped a visit to Washington amid tensions over the wall.

The leaders discussed the US trade deficit with Mexico, the importance of friendship between the two countries and the need to work together to stop cross-border trafficking of drugs and weapons, according to a statement issued by the Mexican government.

Trump did not elaborate on the content of the call, but repeated some of his trademark tough talk on the US-Mexico border and trade relations.

Trump insisted his relationship with Pena Nieto is “very good” and that the two leaders were “going to be working on a fair relationship and a new relationship”.

The long-distance diplomacy came a day after Pena Nieto cancelled a trip to meet Trump in Washington planned for January 31, after Trump announced the imminent start to construction of a wall along the 3,200-kilometer US-Mexico border.

The wall, a cornerstone of Trump’s presidential campaign, is seen by Mexico as an insult to its sovereignty and a bilateral relationship of equals.

The standoff escalated further Thursday when the White House floated a tax on imports to pay for the wall. White House spokesman Sean Spicer later backtracked on the plan, calling it “one idea”.

Source: Qatar News Agency