BREAKING: Mexican President Cancels Meeting With President Trump Over Wall

BREAKING: Mexican President Cancels Meeting With President Trump Over Wall

By HuffPost on January 26, 2017
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President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico
30108135 Mexico, D.F-President Enrique Peña Nieto, spearheaded the closure of the work of the 24TH meeting of ambassadors and consuls, this day in National Palace. | Notimex Photo/Jose Pazos/JPF

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced Thursday that he canceled a meeting with President Donald Trump that had been scheduled to take place on Jan. 31 in Washington.

Peña Nieto had faced intense pressure from legislators to take a firmer stand against Trump by passing on the meeting, after Trump signed an executive order Wednesday moving forward on the construction of a wall along the Mexican border ― while continuing to insist that Mexico will somehow pay the multibillion-dollar cost.

In a series of tweets, Peña Nieto said he lamented the Trump administration’s decision to insist on Mexico paying for the proposed border wall, a condition the Mexican president has long said he would not accept.

“This morning, we have informed the White House that I will not attend the work meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with @POTUS,” Peña Nieto wrote.

“Mexico offers and demands respect, as a the sovereign Nation that we are,” Peña Nieto wrote in another tweet.

The Thursday morning announcement followed long hours of speculation Wednesday night, as political figures pressed Peña Nieto to take a stand against what many Mexicans view as a uniquely hostile U.S. president that wants to bilk the country for billions of dollars. Trump has repeatedly made public statements shaming international corporations that shift operations there.

It wasn’t until Wednesday evening that Peña Nieto finally released a video recording in which he said that he would continue talks with the U.S. government and would consult Cabinet officials and members of Congress about what additional steps to take. Peña Nieto stopped short of saying in the video that he wouldn’t attend the meeting with Trump, but insisted once again his government wouldn’t pay for the construction of a border wall.

“Mexico doesn’t believe in walls,” Peña Nieto said in the recording. “I’ve said it many times before ― Mexico will not pay for this wall.”

Trump pounced on him Thursday morning, in a pair of tweets that said Peña Nieto shouldn’t bother coming to Washington if he’s not willing to pay for the wall.

Peña Nieto largely avoided confrontation with Trump during a campaign that repeatedly vilified Mexico. But backed into a corner on Thursday morning and facing pressure domestically, the Mexican president had little choice.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

Read original story on HuffPost.

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