MEXICO CITY – Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will take office on Dec. 1, promised on Tuesday that he will offer “always dialogue” to the US administration of Donald Trump but he ruled out discussing construction of the border wall demanded by Washington.
“Fortunately, that issue is not being discussed much anymore and I don’t want to talk about that subject,” Lopez Obrador said of the wall, adding that his team “does not have that word on the agenda.”
On Tuesday morning, Trump said on Twitter that the high level of violence in Mexico is “One of the reasons we need Great Border Security,” adding that “Mexico’s murder rate in 2017 increased by 27% to 31,174 people killed, a record!”
When asked about that at a press conference, Lopez Obrador said that the US president “has the freedom to express himself,” but the next Mexican government will have as an objective creating “a relationship of friendship, love and peace” with the US.
“We’re going to try and seek a friendly relationship. We want dialogue and, if there’s no dialogue, the other way is going to be dialogue and more dialogue. Always dialogue. We don’t want quarrels,” he said.
The leftist leader added that “we want to convince (Trump) that it’s appropriate to have a relationship of friendship and cooperation for development.”
He said that, in keeping with that idea, his transition cabinet is maintaining contacts with the Trump team to reach an agreement to “deal with the immigration issue and lack of security on the border via economic growth and creation of jobs.”
Lopez Obrador suggested that this “additional accord” could be reached in parallel with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement among Mexico, Canada and the US, adding that the Mexican government and his team are working jointly in the NAFTA negotiations to reach a definitive pact “in the coming days.”