Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto said Thursday he will not attend a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump next week, amid growing outrage south of the border over Trump’s plan to build wall between the neighboring nations.
He made the announcement that he would skip the Jan. 31 session a few minutes before noon on his Twitter account.
This is the translated text:
“This morning we informed the White House that I will not attend the working meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with @POTUS. Mexico reiterates its willingness to work with the United States to reach agreements on behalf of both nations.”
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
A few hours earlier, Trump threatened to cancel a meeting scheduled for next week with the president of Mexico if the neighboring country is not willing to pay for a border wall.
“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” with Peña Nieto, Trump wrote on Twitter.
After Nieto’s announcement, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said the two leaders may yet meet at a date to be determined.
“We’ll look for a date to schedule something in the future,” Spicer told reporters as he exited Air Force One in Philadelphia, where Trump was attending a GOP retreat. “We will keep the lines of communication open.”
On Wednesday Trump signed an executive order authorizing the planned wall, just as a Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray arrived at the White House for talks.
The timing caused outrage in Mexico, with prominent politicians and many on social media seeing at as a deliberate snub to the government’s efforts to engage with Trump, who has for months used Mexico as a political punching bag.
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