efe-epaBy Lucia Leal. Washington DC

Mexico’s president on Wednesday praised his United States counterpart in the first meeting between the pair, which focused on trade and did not touch the more thorny issues of the relationship, such as immigration or the wall at their shared border.

In the first of two statements to the press at the White House, Andrés Manuel López Obrador thanked Donald Trump for treating his country with "understanding and respect," despite the fact that in 2015 his US counterpart described Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists" and still maintains his anti-immigrant rhetoric. EFE-EPA