US and Mexican presidents meet in Washington DC

CCTV News

President Barack Obama, right, meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 22, 2016. Nieto(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Barack Obama, right, meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 22, 2016. Nieto(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Just hours after Donald Trump accepted the Republican party’s nomination for president, President Barack Obama was hosting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenburg reports. 

US and Mexican presidents meet in Washington DC

US and Mexican presidents meet in Washington DC

Just hours after Donald Trump accepted the Republican party’s nomination for president, President Barack Obama was hosting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenburg reports.

Peña Nieto has compared Trump to 20th century dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. But at the White House Friday, his tone was more diplomatic.

“The Mexican government respects the democratic process in the U.S. We will not get involved, we will not give our opinion, we will not set any type of position because at the end of the day it is the American people who have to decide who the next president will be,” Nieto said. “And the Mexican government will work in a constructive manner with whomever is elected.”

Some 30 million Americans identify with their Mexican heritage. Many said Trump’s references to Mexican immigrants, calling them “rapists” and “killers,” has offended them. Trump has repeatedly said he would prevent illegal immigration to the U.S. by building a wall between the two countries, and force Mexico to pay for it.

Obama said Friday’s visit was a reminder of the relationship beyond the rhetoric.

“The benefit of a cooperative Mexico — and by the way, a Mexico that has a healthy economy, a Mexico that can help us build stability and security in Central America — that’s going to do a lot more to solve any migration crisis than a wall,” Obama said.

The two leaders met for an hour and discussed a range of issues, including climate change and trade. Obama’s Democratic predecessor, signed the free trade agreement with Mexico. Trump, who vowed to overturn the deal, has used it to attack presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Obama and Peña Nieto met less than a month ago in Canada. The White House would neither confirm nor deny if this bilateral meeting was intentionally timed to come on the heels of the Republican National Convention. The leaders will meet again in New York in September, at a UN summit specifically dealing with migration.