Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell denied here Friday that US President Donald Trump urged him to build a wall in the Sahara to slow down immigration, saying that they only had a "conversation" about different ways to address the issue.
Questioned by journalists before his speech at a forum in New York on the theme Latin America, the United States and Spain in the Global Economy, Borrell asked for "things not to be taken out of proportion," adding that Trump "never made that proposal."
The foreign minister acknowledged that Trump has a "very different position than Spain on this issue," since the US president has supported the draconian anti-immigration initiatives of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, "but he did not propose the possibility of building a wall in the Sahara."
With this statement, Borrell recanted a previous announcement he made at Madrid's Club Siglo XXI while addressing the challenges of immigration, where he suggested that Trump had urged him to build a wall in the Sahara.
"The issue will not be resolved in the way Salvini attempted to do, by closing the ports, nor by building a wall in the Sahara, as Trump told to me," Borrell said during his speech, centered on Europe's future.
Borrell said Friday that Trump had not mentioned, strictly speaking, "building a wall in the Sahara," adding that the difference was that "the US experience has been to build a physical barrier along the border with Mexico, while we already have a wall, which is the Mediterranean."