Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will not go to US for meeting with President Donald Trump

The announcement comes hours after Mr Trump threatens to cancel the series of meetings 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 26 January 2017 17:53 GMT
Donald Trump's Wall: Mexican President's response

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto has said he will not go to the US for a meeting with President Donald Trump.

The announcement came hours after Donald Trump had threatened to cancel the series of upcoming meetings with Mexico if the country does not agree to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border - one of Mr Trump's campaign promises.

President Pena Nieto was due to arrive in Washington next week for a series of meetings, but a tweet from his official account said that the White House had been informed the trip was cancelled.

On Wednesday, Mr Pena Nieto repeated his vow that Mexico would not pay for the wall. Mr Trump responded to that with a pair of tweets on Thursday, saying that if Mexico was not going to agree to fund the wall, the president should cancel his upcoming visit.

“The US has a 60bn dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers... of jobs and companies lost,” Mr Trump wrote.

“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”

The Mexican leader was one of just a handful of foreign leaders that Mr Trump met before he won last November’s election. In a piece of political theatre that seized the news agenda, Mr Trump flew to Mexico last August and held a joint press conference with the Mexican leader.

Mr Pena Nieto's message on Twitter ended days of uncertainty about what he would do.

Mr Trump, who took office last Friday, signed an executive order for construction of the wall on Wednesday, the same day that a Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray held talks with Mr Trump aides in the White House aimed at healing ties.

Relations have been frayed since Mr Trump launched his campaign in 2015, characterising Mexican migrants as murderers and rapists and pledging to build a wall that he said Mexico would pay for. Mexico has long said it will not pay for the wall.

Trade ties are in the balance after Mr Trump vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and slap high tariffs on American companies that have moved jobs south of the border.

Mexico's peso extended losses to 1 per cent after Mr Pena Nieto sent his tweet.

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