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After Trump says he would like to meet, Mexican president eyes date in September

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, presidente of Mexico, speaks in Mexico City in January 2019.

SASHENKA GUTIERREZ/EFE/ZUMA PRESS/TNS

By NACHA CATTAN | Bloomberg News | Published: June 22, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Tribune News Service) — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he’d be willing to have his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in September after the U.S. leader said he was interested in such an encounter.

Lopez Obrador said he could visit Washington or host Trump in Mexico, but he’d prefer to wait until after the agreed upon 90-day evaluation period of Mexico’s crackdown on illegal border crossings had concluded.

Trump told Telemundo in an interview aired Thursday that he’d be interested in meeting with AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, after praising the country in recent days for stopping migrants at its southern border with Guatemala. Trump had threatened to slap tariffs on all Mexican goods if it didn’t rein in migrants crossings into the U.S. without documents. On June 7 he reached a deal with AMLO to halt the tariffs after Mexico agreed to send troops to its southern border.

Asked Friday at his morning news conference if the timing is right for such a meeting given that Trump has already started his campaign for reelection, Lopez Obrador said it would be “disrespectful” not to meet him if he is invited.

In 2016, Trump met with former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto while he was still a presidential candidate. The trip to Mexico City was heavily criticized by Mexicans because of the aggressive tone used by Trump against the country during the campaign.

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