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Mexican president calls to congratulate Trump

 (Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images)
(Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images)

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke to President Trump by phone Saturday morning to congratulate him on his inauguration and set the tone for upcoming bilateral talks between the two countries. 

According to a statement released by the Mexican government, Peña Nieto told Trump he hopes to work together "with a focus on respect for the sovereignty of both nations and shared responsibility."

Mexico's foreign minister is scheduled to hold talks with Trump administration officials in Washington next week amid growing fears that the new U.S. president's actions on trade could devastate the Mexican economy. 

The U.S. peso has fallen steeply in tandem with Trump's threats to build a border wall and tax Mexican imports. 

Peña Nieto's approval ratings have also fallen at a swift rate -- down to 12% last week -- in part because he has been seen as placating Trump. 

Peña Nieto has been forced to walk a fine line when it comes to Trump, whose disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants have made him a near universally reviled figure here. He risks angering Trump if he attacks him too much, and angering voters if doesn't do so enough. 

Earlier this month, Peña Nieto struck a more defiant tone, warning that Mexico will push back if Trump attacks the country on trade or other fronts — using its cooperation on crucial issues such as immigration and security as leverage. 

 

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