Tentative plans for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to make his first visit to the White House to meet with President Trump were scuttled this week after a testy call between the two leaders ended in an impasse over Trump's promised border wall, according to USA and Mexican officials.
A White House readout put a rosy spin on the call.
Both the White House and Pena Nieto's office on February 20 said the leaders had spoken by phone, with Trump offering condolences to the families of victims of a helicopter crash in Oaxaca and Pena Nieto expressing solidarity and support following the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
But Tuesday's conversation did not go well, both sides told The Washington Post.
According to the Washington Post, Pena Nieto was looking to make the trip within the next month but ended up putting those plans on hold following a "testy" phone call with Trump earlier this month.
The statement said Mr. Trump underscored his commitment to expanding cooperation with Mexico on security, trade, and immigration, but did not mention a possible visit by Pena Nieto.
In his latest budget proposal to Congress, Trump requested $23 billion for border security, most of it for building the wall. But the discussion led to an impasse when Trump would not agree to publicly affirm Mexico's position that it would not fund construction of the wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.
US President Donald Trump made a border wall between the US and Mexico central to his presidential campaign.
A White House official told CNN that any meeting would be awkward and counterproductive given Trump's vow that Mexico would pay for the wall.
The leaders did meet once, on the sidelines of the G20 summit of major economies in Hamburg, Germany, last July. The two first met in Mexico City in August 2016, when Pena Nieto welcomed the then candidate in an encounter, arranged by Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, that was widely criticized in Mexico.