President Trump Suggested Spain Build Its Own Border Wall Across the Sahara
02:30, Sep 21, 2018
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According to Borrell, who was said to have made the remarks on Tuesday during a lunch at Club Siglo XXI in Madrid, while referring to the increase in the number of African youth migrants, Trump made the remark recently.
When Spanish diplomats told Trump building a wall across the Sahara desert would be no easy feat the president said, "The Sahara border can't be bigger than our border with Mexico".
"The border with the Sahara can't be longer than ours is with Mexico", the U.S. president is said to have declared, referring to the ease with which Spain can build the suggested wall. Trump disagreed, according to Borrell's recollection, adding that "the Sahara border can't be bigger than our border with Mexico".
A foreign ministry spokesperson confirmed Borrell's comments to the Guardian, but declined to comment further.
The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News request for comment. The Sahara desert stretches for 3,000 miles. Around a dozen countries lie wholly or in part within the Sahara, including Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Egypt, Algeria, Chad and Niger.
Mr Trump is said to have cited his own project to construct a divide with Mexico, which is yet to get off the ground itself, to stop illegal migrants from crossing the border into the US. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez faced criticism from some in June when he offered refuge in Spain to more than 600 migrantson a rescue ship after they were turned away by Italy's populist leaders.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more that 33,000 people have arrived in Spain via the western Mediterranean in 2018 - three times as many as in the same period past year.
The enclaves have become magnets for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe.
The report shows Spain as the leading destination for migration in 2018. Last month, several hundred migrants stormed a border fence to enter Ceuta, leaving more than 150 people injured.
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