Mexican president to Trump: ′Mexico will not pay for the wall′ | News | DW | 01.09.2016
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Mexican president to Trump: 'Mexico will not pay for the wall'

The Mexican president has publicly contradicted the American billionaire after a closed-doors meeting. The real estate mogul had previously claimed that Mexico would foot the bill for a controversial border wall.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday said he told US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Mexico would not pay for a wall the real estate magnate has proposed as a means to curb irregular migration.

"At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall," Nieto wrote in a tweet written in his native Spanish.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump claimed that while the two politicians discussed the wall at a closed-doors meeting, "We didn't discuss payment of the wall."

The provocative billionaire has previously stated that Mexico would foot the bill for his hallmark campaign promise of building a wall.

The meeting on Wednesday, ahead of Trump's highly anticipated speech on his immigration policy, made the surprise visit to Mexico in the middle of the presidential race, hoping to seize the opportunity to show himself as a capable statesman internationally.

Trump has frequently lashed out at Mexico, including calling the country a source of rapists and criminals as well as slamming the country for profiting from a decades-old free trade deal.

Nieto has responded to Trump's controversial comments, likening them to statements made by notorious dictators, including Germany's Adolf Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini.

Americans are set to cast their votes for the next president on November 8, with Trump trailing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in surveys among likely voters.

ls/gsw (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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