Hurricane Harvey: Donald Trump has not accepted Mexico's offer to help Houston flooding victims

Mexican soldiers provided help in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 29 August 2017 09:01 BST
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People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas
People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Donald Trump's administration has not yet decided whether it will accept assistance from Mexico to help the victims of a hurricane in Texas.

The Mexican government expressed its "full solidarity" with the people and government of the US and said it had "offered to provide help and cooperation" in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Mexico previously provided help in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, with soldiers from the Mexican army serving meals, distributing supplies and conducting medical consultations.

But while Texas and Louisiana suffered Harvey's destruction, Mr Trump tweeted to assert Mexico would pay for his promised border wall, before going onto attack the NAFTA trade deal.

Footage shows dramatic rescues in Houston after Hurricane Harvey flooding

Responding to the US President's tweets in a statement, Mexico's ministry of foreign affairs reiterated it would "not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border."

The statement went on to say: "The Mexican government takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States as a result of the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and expresses that it has offered to provide help and cooperation to the US government in order to deal with the impact of this natural disaster —as good neighbours should always do in trying times."

In a statement to The Washington Post, a spokesman for the US State Department said: “It is common during hurricanes and other significant weather events for the US Government to be in close contact with our neighbours and partners in the region to share data and cooperate as needed and appropriate.

"If a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward.”

It is unclear whether the Trump administration would accept the offer, but the offer leaves Mr Trump in an awkward position.

If he were to accept aid, he could be accused of hypocrisy over his stance on Mexico. But should he refuse, he could be seen as acting callously while Texans suffer.

Mr Trump plans to visit Texas to see the storm-hit areas.

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