MEXICO CITY – Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Tuesday that the Mexican Senate and government both made it clear last week to the US what the “limits” are in future negotiations and transmitted to Washington “the feeling of offense and indignation that exists in Mexico” over the stances expressed by US President Donald Trump.
In an appearance before the upper house during which he explained the state of Mexico’s foreign policy, the minister remarked that “new channels of communication” had been opened with the US, but he said that some of the country’s “limits” had also been “clearly” established.
He discussed how this was done when the Mexican government responded to Washington regarding the possible deportation of non-Mexican migrants by the US to Mexico.
“Although Mexico is a country that is in solidarity with all countries, Mexico has no reason (to accept) and will not receive ... people who are not Mexicans,” he said.
The government communicated “to the US government formally the feeling of offense and indignation that exists in Mexico due to the stances expressed” by Trump during the visit to Mexico City by the US secretaries of state and homeland security, Rex Tillerson and John Kelly, respectively.
During the meetings held during their visit, he said, Mexico reiterated to its northern neighbor its “willingness to engage in dialogue,” but only in a “comprehensive” way.
He said that “there must exist an absolute respect for the human rights of Mexicans in the US” and, if that country does not comply with that, the Mexican government will not “hesitate to resort to the US courts and to international entities.”
With regard to Central America, from where the majority of the migrants who cross Mexico en route to the US come, he expressed the need to compromise with “the three nations of the Northern Triangle – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – to be able to have a more active, more supportive presence.”
“The challenges of Central America are those of development, not challenges to immigration control,” Mexico’s top diplomat said.
He noted that, so far, no negotiations have been launched on trade, although a consultation process is under way with the productive sectors of both countries regarding prospective changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by the US, Canada and Mexico in 1994.
The Mexican government announced on Feb. 1 the start of a 90-day consultative period to establish the parameters within which to revise NAFTA, which Trump considers to be “unfair” to the US and to Mexico’s great benefit.
“Protecting remittances” will be a top Mexican priority, given that they are an important source of foreign currency, although Trump has threatened to block them, Videgaray said.