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Mexico claims stronger U.S. ties in 2017 despite Trump's wall rhetoric
Last Updated: 2017-12-26 11:10 | Xinhua
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Despite their public differences over trade and immigration, Mexico strengthened its ties with the United States in 2017, the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

At the start of the year, President Enrique Pena Nieto formulated 10 goals and five principles to guide his country's relationship with the new U.S. government under President Donald Trump.

The goals included getting a commitment from Washington to respect the legal rights of Mexican citizens and ensuring the free flow of remittances from the U.S. that is a pillar of Mexico's economy.

The principles range from holding comprehensive negotiations that also covered security, terrorism, migration and drug trafficking, as well as North American integration, involving Mexico, Canada and the U.S.

The ministry said Mexico strengthened political dialogue with U.S. authorities at the highest level. Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray visited the U.S. over 20 times this year to meet with White House and other officials.

Ties between the two countries strained ahead of Trump assuming office in January, thanks to his campaign promise to stem illegal immigration from Mexico by building a wall along their shared border.

A number of prototypes of the wall have reportedly been built and are being tested.

Trump's campaign pledge to also bring industries and jobs back to the United States affected bilateral ties, as well as his insistence that the North American Free Trade Agreement between the two countries and Canada be renegotiated to minimize what he perceived as Mexico's unfair trade advantage.

Nevertheless, the ministry stressed that the two countries have deepened cooperation in several areas, mainly in border security and development.

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