Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto released a video statement saying Mexico will not pay for President Donald Trump's wall.
The video was released on Jan. 25, the Daily Mail reported. Pena Nieto responded to Trump's claims that Mexico will pay for the wall to secure the border of the United States.
"Mexico does not believe in walls," Pena Nieto said, according to a translation. "I've said it time and time again: Mexico will not pay for any wall."
The same day, an interview with ABC News aired in which Trump claimed Mexico would "absolutely" pay for the wall. However, Trump did not provide a clear explanation as to how that payment would be received.
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Trump confirmed that U.S. taxpayers will pay for the wall upfront so that construction can begin as soon as possible.
"All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico," Trump told ABC News.
Pena Nieto also asked his government to strengthen protection for Mexican immigrants and said that the 50 Mexican Consulates in the U.S. will also serve to defend their rights.
"I've asked for the minister of Foreign Relations to re-enforce protection measures to our citizens," he said. "Mexico offers and demands respect like the fully sovereign nation we are. Mexico gives its friendship to the people of the United States and wishes to reach agreements with its government - agreements that will be in favor of Mexico and Mexicans."
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According to a senior official, Pena Nieto is also "considering" canceling his visit to Washington, D.C., on Jan 31.
Trump took to twitter on Jan. 26 to say that it would be "better" to cancel the meeting if Mexico continues to refuse to pay for the wall.
"The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico," Trump tweeted. "It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost.
"If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting."