Trump wants Spain to build a wall in Africa to stop migrants

Trump wants Spain to build a wall in Africa to stop migrants

Kerry Wise
September 21, 2018

Josep Borrell told a lunchtime gathering this week, according to a video released by Spanish media: "Closing ports is not a solution, and neither is building a wall along the Sahara like President Trump suggested to me recently".

According to Josep Borrell, the U.S. president brushed off the skepticism of Spanish diplomats - who pointed out that the Sahara stretched for 3,000 miles - saying: "The Sahara border can't be bigger than our border with Mexico".

Spain also has no border with the Sahara, meaning it would have to build the barrier on foreign land. The Sahara desert stretches for 3,000 miles.

El Pais and Europa Press reported this week that Borrell recalled Trump's suggestion during a luncheon in Madrid on Tuesday.

At a lunch event at Madrid's Club Siglo XXI, Mr Borrell told attendees the exchange had come during his trip to the United States in June, El Pais reported.

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Borrell made it clear he disagreed with the plan, although Spain has built 20-foot walls topped with razor wire around its African territories of Melilla and Ceuta.

Trump famously called for a wall to be built along the US-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration to the US during his 2016 presidential campaign, and now apparently feels it can help Europe as well.

Although he declined further comments on the issue, a spokesman for the Spanish Foreign Ministry confirmed Borrell's comments to CNN.

Increased numbers of migrants from Africa have been arriving on Spain's shores this year as Europe struggles to come up with a common strategy for dealing with their plight.

The European country has seen over 30,000 migrants and refugees arrive by sea so far in 2018, making Spain the top destination for migrants arriving via the Mediterranean.