Washington: President Donald Trump on Wednesday again threatened to shut United States’ southern border with Mexico and send more “armed soldiers” to the region if the latter did not block a new caravan of migrants soon.
“Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military,” Trump tweeted.
“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! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” he added.
The remarks by the US President came in the wake of April 13 incident in which two US soldiers were questioned by Mexican troops while conducting a surveillance operation on the US side of the southern border, CNN confirmed after quoting US Defence officials.
During the incident, the Mexican soldiers pointed their weapons at the US troops, removing a soldier’s sidearm and returning it to the unmarked US vehicle, the officials said.
The Mexican troops were armed with what appeared to be assault rifles, the officials noted.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that his government would analyse the incident, take into account Trump’s comments, and act “in keeping with the law within the framework of our sovereignty”, Channel NewsAsia reported.
“We are not going to fall for any provocation,” he told reporters in Mexico City.
“The most important thing is to tell (Trump) we are not going to fight with the government of the United States. The most important thing is to say we want a relationship of mutual respect and cooperation for the sake of development,” the President was quoted as saying.
However, it was unclear if Trump was indicating towards a fresh deployment or any change in the way US troops on the border are armed or in the rules under which they operate.