President Donald Trump suggested European leaders should “build a wall” across the Sahara desert in order to stop the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, according to Spain’s foreign minister.
According to Josep Borrell, President Trump dismissed the scepticism of Spanish diplomats – who pointed out that the Sahara stretched for thousands of miles – saying: “The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico.”
President Trump successfully wooed voters in the 2016 election with his campaign promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” across the southern border — and his insistence that Mexico will pay for the construction.
The Spanish foreign minister’s comments were made at a lunch event in Madrid this week and widely reported in the Spanish media.
“We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks,” said a spokesman for the foreign ministry.
President Trump is thought to have recommended that Europe build a wall during the visit of Spanish King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June this year.
Spain has found itself on the frontline of the European migration crisis, with more than 33,600 migrants and refugees arriving by boat so far this year alone, with at least 1,723 dying at sea in the attempt.
The drastic increase in migrant arrivals this year, already triple the total for the same period last year, shows the migrant crisis is only accelerating, with no end in sight. Spain has now overtaken Italy and Greece as the main destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean and entering Europe’s porous southern border.
The huge number of arrivals on Spain’s coast has strained reception facilities and infrastructure. The issue has also become a political issue with ordinary Spaniards unhappy about the mass migration. Many people accuse the socialist government of double standards and of being too soft on immigration.
Would Donald Trump’s idea to build a wall solve the migrant crisis in Europe?