US chiefs to visit Mexico
Washington, Feb 16 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly will visit Mexico next week, the Mexican Foreign Ministry announced.
The two chiefs “will meet with various federal government officials”, the ministry said on Wednesday, adding it would release more details of the agenda in coming days, Xinhua news agency reported.
The meetings comes after the January 27 telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto.
The telephone call took place ahead of a scheduled meeting between the two heads of state. Pena Nieto cancelled it after Trump tweeted there was no point in holding the encounter if Mexico was not prepared to pay for a proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.
“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting,” Trump tweeted.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray went to Washington after the call, and met with Tillerson and Kelly so as “to continue to work in favour of a respectful, close and constructive relationship between the two countries,” the ministry said.
Bilateral ties have been tense since Trump took office in January, who immediately signed an executive order calling for a border wall to stem illegal immigration and cross-border crime.
He urged to levy the tax on Mexican goods entering the United States to help pay for the project, which could cost billions of dollars.
Trump also demanded the renegotiation of a two-decade-old free trade agreement between Mexico, the US and Canada.