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Trump Clashes With Mexico's Top Diplomat Over Payments for Border Wall

© REUTERS / Mike BlakeThe border wall separating the United States and Mexico is pictured in San Ysidro, California.
The border wall separating the United States and Mexico is pictured in San Ysidro, California. - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Mexico will ultimately pay to cover the cost of building a wall on the United States’ southern border, US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

"The wall will be paid for very easily… by Mexico," Trump said.

However, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Videgaray Caso fired back in a statement on Twitter saying that Mexico "will never pay for a wall" a position he said was clear from the beginning.

The issue of undocumented migration has long been a stumbling bloc in Mexico's relations with the United States. Moreover, building the border wall has been a major campaign pledge and central issue for Trump. However, the wall project has proven contentious as Trump originally claimed Mexico would pay for building it while the Mexican government repeatedly said it would not.

READ MORE: Trump Says Construction of Wall on US Border With Mexico Already Started

Trump said last week that the United States has already spent $3.5 billion building the wall on the Mexican border.

Immigrants walk along the rail tracks after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border in Ixtepec, southern Mexico - Sputnik International
Drug Cartels Use Undocumented Migrants to Distract Patrols at US-Mexico Border
The US House Appropriations Committee (HAC) said in July it approved the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget that includes $5 billion to build Trump’s land border wall with Mexico. In particular, the funding provides for over 200 miles of new physical barrier construction. Additionally, the bill includes $223 million for 140 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine teams to initiate a five-year strategy towards achieving 100 percent scanning on the southern border.

However, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in early August that the CBP has failed to analyze the cost of constructing barriers in potential locations along the southwestern border. According to the GAO, the costs for putting up barriers along the US-Mexico border may vary depending on the topography, land ownership and other factors and CBP lacks complete information for building barriers in the most cost-effective manner.

READ MORE: Trump's New Deal With Mexico Lacks Detail on Items Achieved — US Senator

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