MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s president said Thursday he was willing to offer an apology to the United States, if necessary, to cool an escalating war of words over a border confrontation between US and Mexican troops.
“If necessary, the secretary of foreign affairs will send a note explaining how the facts occurred and, if there was an infraction; he will offer the apologies that are required,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in his daily news conference.
The leftist president was keen to emphasize that Mexico wanted to avoid “any kind of friction, confrontation,” with the United States, it’s main trading partner.
“We do not intend to violate, to affect, the sovereignty of the United States of America,” he said.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump escalated his war of words with Mexico over immigration when he announced he would send armed soldiers to the border after Mexican soldiers had “pulled guns” on US troops.
Trump was apparently referring to an April 13 incident in which Mexican troops reportedly questioned and pointed their weapons at two US troops conducting surveillance on the border.
“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again!” he tweeted.
“We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!”
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard late Wednesday downplayed the incident, saying the Americans were in an unmarked car south of the border fence but north of the border itself in a spot that is not clearly marked either as Mexico or the United States.
He said such incidents happened on a score of occasions over the past four years, without either government “giving it any great importance.”
The Mexican foreign ministry said that the incident happened on April 13, south of the border fence near Ciudad Juarez “in a area where the boundaries of the border are not clear because of its geography.” AFP