MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday expressed gratitude to Donald Trump for publicly avoiding the thorny subject of the US President’s promised border wall during a Washington summit earlier this week.
MOVIE PHOTO: Mexico̵
Lopez Obrador also thanked his American counterpart for a less “discriminatory tone” during his visit, a reference to Trump’s previous insults against Mexico and its immigrants.
“We thank him for not raising the subject (border wall) publicly,” Lopez Obrador told reporters at a news conference, adding that the wall was mentioned during a dinner at the White House “but without the intention of introducing anything.”
During the dinner, where industry leaders attended, Trump joked that he had behaved and did not mention the wall in their public engagement, the Mexican newspaper Reforma reported, citing diplomatic sources.
Lopez Obrador said the issue was not raised because it was agreed that the meeting would focus on common ground.
The summit focused mostly on economic issues, in particular the celebration of a modernized North American trade agreement that came into force this month.
As a result of his successful 2016 presidential campaign, Trump made the construction of a wall on the country’s southern border a signature promise, while promising to force Mexico to pay for it.
His administration has constructed new sections with high fences along the approximately 2,000-mile (3,220-mile) US-Mexico border.
The Mexican president was sharply criticized on both sides of the border for having met Trump just four months before US voters go to the polls to decide whether the Republican president seeking re-election will win a second term in office.
Overall, Lopez Obrador commended his trip to Washington as a success. He said Trump had an open invitation to visit Mexico, but that such a trip was not currently possible because of the ongoing US presidential campaign.
Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Dan Grebler and Marguerita Choy