Trump in Unexpected Trip to Mexico, President Pena Nieto Rebukes Republican Candidate

تم نشره في Wed 31 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM
  • U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto arrive for a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2016. - (REUTERS)

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday told US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Mexicans deserved his respect, hosting him during a brief visit to Mexico City.

Pena Nieto told Trump his government would work with whoever wins the US election, and called for a constructive relationship.

Donald Trump travelled to Mexico on Wednesday to meet President Enrique Pena Nieto in an unexpected trip to a country which the Republican presidential candidate has frequently vilified as the main source of illegal immigration and drug smuggling to the United States.

Trump's visit to Mexico City took place hours before he was due to deliver a highly anticipated speech in the border state of Arizona on how he would tackle illegal immigration if he wins the Nov. 8 election.

True to Trump's flair for the dramatic, the trip south of the border will guarantee news coverage for the New York businessman and former reality TV star. But it also took him to a country where he is widely disliked because of harsh comments he has made during his White House campaign.

Mexican opposition politicians and academics expressed disbelief that Pena Nieto would host Trump, who has accused Mexico of sending criminals and rapists across the border and cheating the United States on trade.

Trump arrived at Mexico City's airport and headed for a meeting with Pena Nieto at the Los Pinos official residence, Mexican news media reported.

A few dozen people gathered beneath a monument to Mexican independence in the centre of the capital to protest the visit, some holding placards emblazoned with captions such as "You are not Wall-come" and "Trump and Pena out."

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said Trump would speak to the Mexican leader about border security, including his signature pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexico border to counter illegal immigration.

The meeting, which Trump and his advisers began considering after an invitation from Pena Nieto last week, will be Trump's first official interaction with a foreign leader since he began his presidential campaign more than a year ago, stirring up frequent controversy both at home and abroad.

Pena Nieto has dismissed Trump's demand that Mexico pay for the proposed border wall and likened his tone to the ascent of dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, asked by NBC's "Today" show if he would speak to the Mexican president in the same blunt terms he has used at home, Conway said Trump would be "very presidential."

A source close to the Trump campaign said he expects the candidate might apologize in Mexico for some of his rhetoric but say that illegal immigration has to stop.

Trump trails Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in most opinion polls nationally and in most battleground states with 10 weeks to go until the election.

Clinton said Trump could not paper over his previous harsh language against Mexico, which helped him defeat 16 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

"It certainly takes more than trying to make up for more than a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbours for a few hours and then flying home again," she told a convention of the American Legion veterans' group in Cincinnati.