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Trump Mexico not expecting much from meeting with US President

Mexico said Wednesday it is not expecting much improvement in its strained relationship with the United States when Presidents Enrique Pena Nieto and Donald Trump meet later this week.

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Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, seen here at a summit in Colombia, meets later this week in Germany with US President Donald Trump but Mexican officials are downplaying expectations of any settling of their "substantive differences" play

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, seen here at a summit in Colombia, meets later this week in Germany with US President Donald Trump but Mexican officials are downplaying expectations of any settling of their "substantive differences"

(AFP/File)

Mexico said Wednesday it is not expecting much improvement in its strained relationship with the United States when Presidents Enrique Pena Nieto and Donald Trump meet later this week.

"Let's keep this in perspective," said Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray ahead of the two leaders' planned half-hour meeting Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.

"We're not expecting any major agreements, we're not expecting to settle substantive differences," he told Mexican TV network Televisa.

It will be the first official meeting between the two presidents.

In January, Pena Nieto cancelled a trip to Washington in response to Trump's insistence that Mexico pay for his planned border wall -- plunging the countries' relations into their biggest crisis in decades.

The two leaders have since spoken by phone, and a series of high-level meetings have eased the tension.

But nerves are still raw in Mexico over the wall, Trump's attacks on Mexican immigrants as "criminals, drug dealers and rapists," and his insistence on overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Negotiations on a new version of the 23-year-old trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada -- which Trump accuses of shipping American jobs south of the border -- begin next month.

Videgaray said the two presidents would talk about NAFTA, as well as fighting drug trafficking, cooperating to stem a tide of immigrants from Central America, and "the relationship in general."

Trump and Pena Nieto first met in August 2016, when the former was still a candidate.

Trump's visit to Mexico turned into a public relations nightmare for Pena Nieto, who was lambasted for welcoming the brash Republican billionaire despite his insults and threats.

Pena Nieto will also meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of India, Italy and Spain at the G20, said Videgaray.

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