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Mexico opposes border fence

Nov. 1, 2006 at 10:35 AM

MEXICO CITY, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Incoming Mexican President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa opposes the Bush administration's plans to build a long border fence.

MISNA news agency reported Oct. 28 that Calderon, who won a bitterly contested election against Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in July, said during a visit to Canada: "The decision to build a wall at the northern border undoubtedly complicates the most important bilateral relations for Mexico, that with the United States; it is an added complication, which is entirely useless, inopportune and damaging for relations between the two peoples and the two governments."

Calderon replaces outgoing President Vicente Fox Quesada, who enjoyed close relations with Washington, in December.

Even as he denounced the proposed border barrier Calderon urged Mexicans to "work hard" to try to restore friendly relations between the two nations.

On Nov. 9 Calderon will meet with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington.

Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez has a more pragmatic view of the proposed barrier, noting dryly that the barrier will not be completed, as current White House proposed appropriations only cover 25 percent of the wall's estimated costs.

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