NEW YORK: Mexico’s president told US president-elect Donald Trump his nation will not pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border just hours after Mr Trump doubled-down on his campaign pledge to force the country to do so.
According to news media, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto made his comments at the end of a speech at an annual gathering of senior Mexican diplomats at the National Palace on Wednesday.
While stressing his desire for a positive relationship between the two countries and naming several issues on which he said they could cooperate, Peña Nieto assured his nation they would not be footing the bill for Trump’s wall.
“It is evident that we have some differences with the new government of the United States, like the topic of the wall, that Mexico of course will not pay,” Peña Nieto said.
In the days following Congress coming back into session, reports have emerged saying Trump has moved to break with part of his signature campaign pledge — telling members of Congress that US taxpayers would pay for the border wall and not Mexico. But at his news conference, Trump vociferously denied these reports in part.
“Reports went out last week, ‘Oh, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall because of a reimbursement.’ What’s the difference? I want to get the wall started,” Trump said.