Donald Trump suggested the Spanish government tackled the Mediterranean migration crisis by emulating one of his most famous policies and building a wall across the Sahara desert, the country’s foreign minister has revealed.
According to Josep Borrell, the US president brushed off the scepticism of Spanish diplomats – who pointed out that the Sahara stretched for 3,000 miles – saying: “The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico.”
Trump wooed voters in the 2016 election with his promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” across the US/Mexico border, which is roughly 2,000 miles long.
A similar plan in the Sahara, however, would be complicated by the fact that Spain holds only two small enclaves in north Africa – Ceuta and Melilla – and such a wall would have to be built on foreign territory.
Borrell’s comments were made at a lunch event in Madrid this week and widely reported in the Spanish media. “We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks,” said a spokesman for the foreign ministry.
Trump is thought to have made his frontier recommendation when Borrell accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June.
Spain has found itself on the frontlines of the migration crisis, with more than 33,600 migrants and refugees arriving by sea so far this year, and 1,723 dying in the attempt.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Sam Jones