Iran and Berlin warn Trump against building Mexico wall

(source: Sky News)
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Iran's president and Berlin's mayor have added their voices to criticism of Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the US border with Mexico.

Hassan Rouhani said the new US President had "forgotten the Berlin wall fell years ago" as he attacked the planned construction, aimed at tackling illegal immigration.

"Today is not the time to erect walls between nations," he said in a speech carried live on Iranian state television.

Separately, Berlin's mayor said his city, which was divided from 1961 to 1989, "cannot look on without comment when a country plans to build a new wall".

"We Berliners know best how much suffering the division of a continent, cemented by barbed wire and concrete, caused," Michael Mueller said.

Recalling former US President Ronald Reagan's challenge to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall", he urged Mr Trump: "Dear Mr President, don't build this wall."

Mr Rouhani also criticised Mr Trump's moves to pull out of global trade deals.

He said: "To annul world trade accords does not help their economy and does not serve the development and blooming of the world economy.

Image Caption:Berlin was divided for nearly three decades until the wall came down in 1989

"This is the day for the world to get closer through trade."

The US President has previously threatened to unilaterally cancel a nuclear deal with Iran which has seen sanctions lifted.

On Friday, he signed an executive order which temporarily prevented travellers from Iran and six other Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.

The plan to build the Mexico border wall has prompted anger in America's southern neighbour, with some calling for a boycott of US brands, the expulsion of American law enforcement agents or the halting of inspections of north-bound lorries for drugs.

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto scrapped a planned meeting on Tuesday with Mr Trump after the American president tweeted that it would be better to cancel if Mexico was unwilling to pay for his proposed wall.

However, the two men spoke on Friday morning with Mr Piena Nieto describing the call as "constructive and productive".

Mr Trump said afterwards: "Great respect for Mexico, I love the Mexican people.

"We have really, I think, a very good relationship, the president and I, and we had a talk that lasted for about an hour this morning, and we are going to be working on a fair relationship."

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