Trump and Mexican President meet - but did they discuss the wall?

Donald Trump in Mexico (Reuters)
Donald Trump in Mexico (Reuters)

The President of Mexico has contradicted Donald Trump, saying they did indeed talk about who would pay for the Republican candidate's proposed wall between the two countries.

"At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall," Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted.

Mr Trump told reporters immediately after the meeting the wall, and who would pay for it, wasn't discussed.

The rest of the conversation was "respectful", Mr Peña Nieto said.

"The Mexican people have felt hurt by the comments that have been made. But I am sure that his genuine interest is to build a relationship that will give both of our society's better welfare."

Mr Trump said it was a "direct and constructive exchange of ideas".

He has long said Mexico would shoulder the cost, but earlier this year Mr Peña Nieto said there was "no way" that would happen.

The meeting was hastily arranged, with Mr Trump only taking a small contingent of aides and advisors to Mexico City and no press. He went there at Mr Peña Nieto's invitation.

According to CNN, Mr Peña Nieto "greeted Trump with an earful on trade and the importance of ties between the US and its southern neighbour".

"I shared with Mr Trump my conviction that the free trade of North America has done a lot of good to both the United States and Mexico."

Mr Trump said he was "straightforward in presenting my views about the impacts of current trade and immigration policies on the United States".

Mr Trump is a harsh critic of 1994's NAFTA trade deal between the two countries, which he says has resulted in a "tremendous outflow of jobs" from the US.

"It's happening every day, it's getting worse and worse and worse and we have to stop it."

Mr Peña Nieto told reporters after the meeting NAFTA had benefits for both countries. Mr Trump responded by saying he was proud to employ a "tremendous number" of Mexicans.

"The United States' first, second and third-generation Mexicans are just beyond reproach. Spectacular, hard-working people. I have such great respect for them and their strong values of family, faith and community."

Mr Peña Nieto said Mr Trump's claims that Mexico sends guns, drugs and criminals across the border was an "incomplete vision" of the problem.

"It doesn't count for the illegal goods that come southbound, including weapons and cash. Millions of dollars and weapons crime from the north and strengthen the cartels and criminal organizations" in Mexico, he said.

"This flow must be stopped."

Earlier this year, Mr Peña Nieto compared Mr Trump to fascist leaders Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Today, Mr Trump called Mr Peña Nieto "a friend", and Mr Peña Nieto toned down his language too.

"The Mexican government will be totally respectful of the electoral process of the United States. I recognise its decision to sustain and construct a dialogue. This is the route that allows for a better understanding."