MEXICO CITY – The winner of Mexico’s presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said on Thursday that he would invite US President Donald Trump to his Dec. 1 inauguration.
“Trump will be invited, although it will depend on his schedule and his decision whether he comes or not” the president-elect said during a press conference.
The United States and Mexico are neighbors who have “economic and trade relations, as well as ties of friendship. We care about cooperation for development and we share a 3,180-kilometer (1,976 mi) border. Therefore, Trump will be invited,” Lopez Obrador said.
The president-elect said that he would also invite the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
Asked whether he would invite the heads of state of Venezuela and Cuba, he responded: “everyone.”
“We will seek friendly relations with all governments and peoples in the world,” Lopez Obrador said.
Lopez Obrador will join incumbent President Enrique Peña Nieto for a July 13 meeting here with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Relations between Washington and Mexico City have been uneasy since Trump took office in January 2017.
The billionaire developer, who launched his White House bid with a speech labeling Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” wants to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
A long-time critic of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump pressed Mexico and Canada to re-negotiate the accord.
During the electoral campaign, Lopez Obrador, as well as the other presidential candidates, denounced Trump’s position toward Mexico.
Despite this, Trump congratulated Lopez Obrador for his election win.
“Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!,” Trump tweeted in response to the result of Sunday’s election.
A day after the election, Lopez Obrador and Trump had a phone conversation in which they discussed the idea of spurring Mexico’s development to reduce migration toward the United States.