Message from President Enrique Peña Nieto

My Fellow Mexicans:

I address you today on a matter of great importance for our country. I am talking about the recent events that affect the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

As the person responsible for directing the country’s foreign policy, a little over a year ago, I established two fundamental principles that would guide our relationship with President Donald Trump’s administration:

First: to protect, above all, the national interest, our sovereignty and the dignity of the Mexican people, and

Second: to maintain a constructive and open approach that allows us to overcome differences, face common challenges and reach agreements.

Our actions have been consistent with these principles.

The Mexican government has worked to build an institutional relationship, based on mutual respect, that is beneficial to both nations.

On that basis, we have made progress in the negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, with the purpose of improving the competitiveness of the region and creating more and better jobs.

We have also deepened our efforts to fight transnational organized crime, which severely affects our communities. We have never withheld our cooperation, because we are aware of the shared responsibility that this important task implies. And, of course, we have defended, on a daily basis, the rights of Mexicans in the United States, always respecting its laws.

The bilateral relationship entails enormous opportunities that should benefit both nations. It is an intense and dynamic relationship, which understandably also poses challenges. Nevertheless, these will never justify threatening or disrespectful attitudes between our countries.

As Mexicans, we may disagree among ourselves, especially during election periods, but we will always be united when it comes to defending our country’s dignity and sovereignty.

This is why, in light of recent events, the Mexican Senate unanimously condemned the offensive and unfounded statements concerning Mexicans and demanded the respectful treatment that befits a relationship between countries that are neighbors, partners and allies.

The candidates currently running for the Mexican presidency have added their voices to the Senate’s resolution. Despite their understandable differences, they all agreed on rejecting all measures that run contrary to those that befit good neighbors.

As Ricardo Anaya pointed out “this is a moment of national unity, not a campaign issue. It is a country issue”. Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared that “we need a relationship based on friendship and cooperation for development, no the use of force, not walls, not betting on bad relations among neighbors”. José Antonio Meade stated that “this is a time for all of us to come together in the defense of the nation’s sovereignty and dignity”. And as Margarita Zavala stated, “when it comes to defending national dignity, we all speak with one voice and demand respect”.

As President of all Mexicans, I agree with those remarks.

Mexico is a great and strong nation. We are a nation that is proud of its great history and culture, of its dynamic present and brilliant future. We are a vibrant country, innovative and full of talent. We are a generous and good-hearted nation. Above all, we are a sovereign nation, with values and principles.

This is us: 125 million Mexicans, very proud of who we are.

President Trump: if you wish to reach agreements with Mexico, we stand ready, as we have proved until now, always willing to engage in a dialogue, acting in earnestness, in good faith and in a constructive spirit.

If your recent statements are the result of frustration due to domestic policy issues, to your laws or to your Congress, it is to them that you should turn to, not to Mexicans.

We will not allow negative rhetoric to define our actions. We will only act in the best interest of Mexicans.

Paraphrasing the words of a great President of the United States of America: we will have no fear to negotiate, but we will never negotiate out of fear.

We are convinced that, by coming to agreements as friends, partners and good neighbors, both countries will fare better than if we confront each other.

We stand ready to negotiate, certainly, but always based on mutual respect.

Something that brings together and unites absolutely all Mexicans is our certainty that nothing and no one stands above the dignity of Mexico.

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