President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that former Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray, who stepped down shortly after the Trump visit, will take over as Mexico’s top diplomat with a mission “to accelerate contacts” with the future U.S. administration
MEXICO CITY – President Enrique Peña Nieto said on Wednesday that the former Cabinet member who arranged Donald Trump’s controversial visit to Mexico in September will become the country’s new foreign secretary.
“I received and have accepted the resignation of Claudia Ruiz Massieu at the head of the Foreign Relations Secretariat,” Peña Nieto said in a nationally broadcast address.
He announced that former Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray, who stepped down shortly after the Trump visit, will take over as Mexico’s top diplomat with a mission “to accelerate contacts” with the future U.S. administration.
The president praised the service of Ruiz Massieu, who has proven herself second to none in her concern “for the protection of Mexicans abroad.”
Peña Nieto pointed to Ruiz Massieu’s visits to the U.S. following Trump’s surprise victory in the Nov. 8 election.
The then-foreign secretary sought to reassure Mexicans living north of the border that their government was ready to assist them in the face of Trump’s promises to deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Videgaray has instructions to reach out to Trump’s team and create the basis for a “constructive working relationship” between Mexico City and Washington, Peña Nieto said.
Mexico wants to strengthen bilateral ties in areas such as security, migration, trade and investment, the president said, though adding that those goals much be achieved “without diminishing our sovereignty and the dignity of Mexicans.”
Peña Nieto did not mention Videgaray’s part in arranging for the visit by Trump, whose references to Mexican immigrants in the U.S. as criminals and rapists have made him very unpopular south of the border.