Germany's Merkel speaks against walls on Mexico visit

Frederick Owens
June 12, 2017

Merkel, who's due to meet Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday, is seeking to build as broad a front as possible after leaders failed to persuade Trump to stick to the climate accord at a Group of Seven summit last month. The chancellor has criticized the USA protectionist stance and called President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate pact "extremely regrettable".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that putting up walls will not solve problems caused by immigration, challenging one of US President Donald Trump's core principles, during her visit to Mexico.

On Rodriguez's Twitter account, the top diplomat said that Venezuela repudiates statements made by Merkel from Argentina during her Latin American tour, which "promotes opposition violence in the country" that has, since April, led to 81 people killed and over than 1,200 injured. Trump has claimed the agreement is unfair on the U.S.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker also said he hoped there would be no further delay to the negotiations "we are desperately waiting for".

President Peña Nieto called for Merkel's support so that in 2017, the agreement between Mexico and the European Union, which is about to enter into a third negotiation phase, can be concluded.

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Mexico is now in talks with the European Union to finalise a new trade deal with the 28-national bloc that will cut tariffs on industrial goods.

He estimated trade between Mexico and Germany at an annual $18 billion, saying the EU-Mexico trade deal would shore up trade between the two countries.

Merkel also said she hoped for a speedy conclusion this year to talks between Mexico and the European Union to update a free trade accord. It is the U.S. Air Force's largest base in the region. "At this moment I don't see any obstacle for us carrying out the negotiations as they have been planned", she later added.

Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said the talks would begin when Britain was ready, suggesting he would consider a short delay. Both the ruling Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party fell short of an overall majority, setting leadership adrift.

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