WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Donald Trump will welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday (Jan 27) and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Jan 31, in his first meetings with foreign leaders, the White House said Saturday.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the meetings at a briefing, mistakenly giving Mr Nieto’s title as prime minister instead of president.
Mrs May is overseeing Britain’s departure from the European Union, or Brexit, which was approved in a swell of anti-establishment fervor that has been likened to that which propelled Mr Trump to the US presidency.
She congratulated Mr Trump after he was sworn in on Friday.
She said she thinks Mr Trump recognises the importance of Nato even though days ago he called the military alliance obsolete.
Mr Spicer said Mr Trump and his Mexican counterpart spoke by phone earlier in the day and agreed to meet for talks on trade, immigration and security.
Mr Trump has vowed to build a wall along the US border with Mexico to keep out migrants and make Mexico pay for it. He has also said he wants to deport millions of immigrants in the US illegally, many of whom are Mexican, and renegotiate – or, failing that, scrap – the North American Free Trade Agreement bringing together the US, Mexico and Canada.
The Mexican president’s office said that in Saturday’s conversation Mr Nieto congratulated Mr Trump on becoming head of state in a phone call in which both agreed to open “new dialogue.”
Mexico sends 85 per cent of its exports to the United States under Nafta and thus been rattled by Mr Trump’s repeated vows to review or repeal the trade pact, and to build a wall on the border.
Mr Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke by phone on Saturday and discussed setting up “additional meetings in the days to come,” Spicer said.