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LATIN AMERICA | 21-06-2019 16:31

Mexico's AMLO proposes September meeting with Trump

The leaders of the two countries have never met. At the meeting, Lopez Obrador hopes to discuss the countries' recent immigration deal.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suggested Friday he and US counterpart Donald Trump should hold their first meeting in September to review progress on the countries' recent migration deal.

The leftist leader known as "AMLO" has never met Trump, though he has spoken to him on the phone, and has tried to cultivate cordial relations despite the American leader's repeated threats and ultimatums over the surge of Central American migrants crossing the US-Mexican border.

Trump threatened last month to impose tariffs on Mexico if it did not do more to slow migration, extracting a promise of "unprecedented" action from Lopez Obrador's government.

Under the deal, Mexico has deployed 6,000 National Guardsmen to secure its southern border and expanded its policy of taking back migrants while the US processes their applications for asylum.

The June 7 deal gives Mexico 45 days to show results, and another 45 days to take further action if Trump deems it necessary.

Lopez Obrador proposed the two presidents meet at the end of that period.

"We will surely hold this meeting in the future," he said at his daily news conference.

"My respectful recommendation is that it be held in September... We want to evaluate the results of the deal, and we could do that together."

Trump, who has not visited Mexico since he was a candidate campaigning on a promise to make the US neighbour pay for a border wall, said he would also be interested in setting up a meeting, in an interview Thursday with US Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo.

"I like him," he said of Lopez Obrador.

Asked if he shared that sentiment, Lopez Obrador told journalists: "That's another matter."

"I've taken note of his respectful treatment of me, and I want there to be mutual respect," he said.

American officials detained 144,000 migrants at the US-Mexican border in May, up 32 percent from April and 278 percent from May 2018. The total included a record 89,000 families.

Most of the migrants are Central Americans fleeing chronic poverty and brutal gang violence in the "Northern Triangle" region – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.


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