Mexican leader calls battle over wall a US domestic issue

EFE

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday called the US dispute between Republicans and Democrats over the US-Mexico border wall that President Donald Trump wants to build a domestic issue.

"We are not going to respond to approaches that are generated by the internal situation in the United States," the Mexican leader said at his morning press conference.

He also noted that Mexico feels that the best solution to the "migratory problem" is to be found by addressing its causes.

"What we have proposed is very clear. We are persuading and convincing the US government that the best (solution would be) to develop the countries of Central America and Mexico. Let there be active productivity and jobs," Lopez Obrador said.

Regarding Trump's comment that Mexico will wind up paying for the wall via the benefits obtained by the US in the proposed US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), the leftist leader said only that "It's his point of view."

The Mexican president also said that security is being reinforced along the country's southern border given the possible arrival of a new caravan of Central Americans in mid-January.

"What we want is for Central American migrants who come to our country, who transit through national territory, to have protection and to have their human rights guaranteed. And, at the same time, to know who they are and where they come from to give them more security," he said.

Trump spoke Tuesday night in a nationally televised address of a "humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border" and said that the construction of a wall is absolutely critical to US border security.

After the speech, Democratic congressional leaders in a televised rebuttal accused the US president of "manufacturing a crisis" and blamed him for the partial shutdown of the federal government that is now in its third week.

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