Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday said his country is willing to negotiate on the border deployment of the U.S. National Guard.
He made the remark in response to a proclamation signed Wednesday by U.S. President Donald Trump that authorizes the deployment of the U.S. National Guard to the 3,200-km-long U.S.-Mexico border in order to stop the flow of drugs and criminals as well as control illegal immigration.
The U.S. side has said the National Guard will act only in a support role. But the Mexican Government sees the move as a militarization of the border.
Mexico is willing to negotiate, Pena Nieto said in a televised address, adding, "We will have no fear to negotiate, but we will never negotiate out of fear."
"The Mexican government has worked to build an institutional relationship, based on mutual respect, that is beneficial to both nations," he said, citing previous joint efforts to fight organized crime.
"We have never withheld our cooperation because we are aware of the shared responsibility that this important task applies," he added, demanding that Trump protect the rights of ethnic Mexicans in the United States.
The president also said Trump should avoid lashing out at Mexico out "of frustration due to internal political matters."