Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Donald Trump urged Spain to build a wall along the Sahara desert

Donald Trump and Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell Modal Trigger Donald Trump Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 20 September, 2018, 14:09

Spain's foreign minister says President Trump offered the Spanish government some very Trumpian advice on dealing with an influx of cross-Mediterranean migrants.

Mr Trump's pledge to build a wall between the United States and Mexico was one of his best-known election promises.

Spain does not share a border with the Sahara.

Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell revealed he had spoken to the president back in June about the crisis.

"The border with the Sahara can not be bigger than ours with Mexico", the president reportedly told Mr Borrell.

Borrell did not specify when or where Trump made the suggestion.

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The Mexico-US border is in fact 1,954 miles (3,145km) long.

Since the start of 2018, more than 38,000 migrants have arrived in Spain, mostly by sea.

Spain has no sovereignty over the Sahara, but it does possess two small enclaves on the north African coast, Ceuta and Melilla, separated from Morocco by controversial wire fences.

However, the former president of the European Parliament said that European countries do need to urgently work towards a solution because Africa's population is set to double in the next 20 years (the World Economic Forum says the doubling will actually take around 32 years).

Trump's call for a wall on the southern border - which he repeatedly insisted that Mexico would pay for - was a hallmark of his presidential campaign, with "Build the Wall!" chants still breaking out at his frequent "MAGA" rallies.

Earlier this month, Trump said he was considering taking drastic military measures to build the wall instead of relying on Congress.