President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto has stated, in no uncertain terms, that he both refuses and castigates President Trump’s intentions to build a wall along the US-Mexican border.
Addressing the public just last Wednesday, Peña Nieto reiterated that Mexico “does not believe in walls” and promised that the nation will not pay for any of its construction. His comments came in response to Trump’s executive order to Department of Homeland Security to begin construction along the southern border.
Viewed as a highly disrespectful move from many Mexican government officials as well as the general public, the order was made the same day Mexican foreign secretary Luis Videgaray was visiting Washington to engage in discussions regarding trade with other White House officials.
Peña Nieto has subsequently been facing growing adversity from fellow leaders to abandon his plans to visit the White House next Tuesday to officially meet with the newly elected US President. However, he made no mention of this in his televised address, simply stating he was still debating it and would wait to consult with Videgaray and the rest of the Mexican delegation before taking a final decision.
On hearing the news of the Mexican president potentially snubbing their meeting, Trump reacted this morning by tweeting of the possibility of cancelling the meeting altogether, an antithesis of his comments last week, where he maintained the wall would benefit both sides and expressed how he “greatly look(s) forward to meeting again with the president of Mexico”.
In several interviews conducted on the issue of the border wall over the past few days, Trump has insisted that although Americans will initially have to fork out the money to fund the wall’s construction, they will definitely be ‘reimbursed’ by Mexico, soon enough.