Mexican President reiterates: We won't pay for the wall

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto says his government will negotiate with Trump's government but will not pay for the border wall.

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Enrique Pena Nieto and Donald Trump
Enrique Pena Nieto and Donald Trump
Reuters

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday again rejected U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's demand that Mexico pay for a wall along the border between the two countries, reports AFP.

His comments came hours after Trump repeated his warnings against Mexico during a press conference in New York.

While he rejected the idea of paying for the border wall, Pena Nieto said his government will seek "open and complete negotiations" with the next U.S. government.

"Everything that defines our bilateral relations is on the table, including security, migration and trade," he was quoted as having told an annual meeting of Mexican ambassadors at the National Palace.

"At no time will we accept anything that goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans," he added.

"It is obvious that we have some differences with the next government of the United States, like the issue of the wall that Mexico of course will not pay for," Pena Nieto said as diplomats applauded.

At the same time, he stressed that "we will work to have a good relationship with the United States and its president."

At his news conference earlier on Wednesday, Trump said he could impose a "tax" on Mexico to fund the wall, which would first be paid for with funding arranged through Congress.

Pena Nieto in his remarks issued his own demands to the incoming administration, which takes office on January 20.

He renewed Mexican demands that the U.S. government stop the illegal trafficking of guns from the United States to Mexico, which the southern neighbor has blamed for fueling drug violence for years.

Pena Nieto also said the United States needs to block the flow of money from illegal proceeds that fund organized crime.

Referring to Trump's vow to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, Pena Nieto said any repatriation must "continue in an orderly and coordinated" manner.

During the election campaign, there was tension between Trump and Mexico after Trump promised to build the wall around the border.

At one point, the Mexican President said Trump’s rhetoric is similar to the manner of speech adopted by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini when the two dictators began their ascent to power.

Later, however, the two met in Mexico where they downplayed their differences and set aside previous harsh rhetoric.

Soon after Trump’s election, Pena Nieto expressed optimism his country could come up with a new, positive bilateral relationship with the United States.