US, Mexico speak to mend rift over wall

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MEXICO CITY: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and US President Donald Trump sought to tone down diplomatic tensions over the Republican’s planned border wall on Friday, agreeing to seek a resolution to the thorny dispute. One day after the spat boiled over, with Peña Nieto canceling a trip to Washington next week in response to Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for the barrier, the two leaders held an hour-long phone conversation. Trump described the talks as “very friendly” while the two governments issued a nearly similar statement saying it was “constructive and productive.” The discussion capped a week that saw relations between the neighboring nations plunge into the biggest diplomatic crisis in decades as Pena Nieto vowed that Mexico will never pay for the border barrier. While Trump and Peña Nieto “recognized their clear and very public differences” about who should pay for the wall, they agreed to “resolve these differences as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relation,” the statement said. Trump and Peña Nieto spoke about the US trade deficit with Mexico, “the importance of the friendship between our nations” and the need for the neighbors to work together to curb drug and weapons trafficking, the statement said.

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AFP

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