Mattis Heads to Mexico Amid Strain Over Disaster Condolences and Aid -

Mattis Heads to Mexico Amid Strain Over Disaster Condolences and Aid

Credit: nytimes.com

  • Sep 13 2017 22:37About: 2 months ago
  • 5 views


WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will resume his role as the reassurer for American allies this week when he heads to Mexico, where he will try to mend relations after President Trump failed to quickly offer condolences for the earthquake on Friday that killed at least 96 people and severely damaged thousands of homes.

Mr. Mattis will also try to signal to Mexican officials that ties between the United States and its southern flank remain strong. After four days without word from Mr. Trump about the 8.2-magnitude earthquake in Oaxaca State, Mexico on Monday rescinded its offer of aid to the United States for people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Mr. Trump had not responded to that offer of help — when it was made, he was tweeting that Mexico was one of the “highest crime nations in the world.” But Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas had said his state would accept the help.

But the offer was withdrawn when Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it needed the money to help care for victims of the earthquake, which was followed by Hurricane Katia.


The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had scheduled a call with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and that details of it would be shared with reporters. But as of Wednesday afternoon, the White House had not provided the promised readout of the conversation or confirmed whether it happened.













“There are people here who say, ‘Why hasn’t he called? The Americans are deliberately slighting us,’” Duncan Wood, the director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, said in a telephone interview from Mexico City. “That’s one view, which is widely held. Some people feel aggrieved.”

But, Mr. Wood added, that makes Mr. Mattis’s visit to Mexico City even more significant. Mr. Mattis, Mr. Wood said, “explicitly recognizes the importance of the relationship. He worries that there might be contamination from other issues, and he wants to make sure there is an expression of solidarity with Mexico, recognizing that the fundamental interests of the United States and Mexico have not changed.”



Mr. Mattis has spent time on previous trips abroad trying to stop American allies from taking his boss’s words literally. During his first trip to Europe as defense secretary, in February, Mr. Mattis tried to convince allies that contrary to what Mr. Trump had said, the United States had not soured on NATO. A few days later in Baghdad, he declared that “we’re not in Iraq to seize anybody’s oil,” undercutting an assertion by Mr. Trump that the United States should have “kept” Iraq’s oil after the American-led invasion in 2003 and might still have a chance to do so.

And in the middle of Mr. Trump’s high-profile feud with Mr. Peña Nieto over who would pay for Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall, Mr. Mattis spoke with Mexican defense leaders and highlighted cooperation between the two militaries.

Now, Mr. Mattis, who effectively employs a calm, folksy demeanor, will turn to doing what he can to prop up the American relationship with one of its two closest neighbors. He will be the first defense secretary, Pentagon officials said, to attend Mexican Independence Day celebrations, taking place on Friday ahead of the holiday on Saturday.

Pentagon officials and experts say that the United States and Mexico have been doing more intelligence sharing, and that Mexico, in particular, has been doing more to alert American authorities about people, including potential terrorism suspects, entering Mexico from other countries.

And though Mr. Trump has a propensity toward abrupt tweetstorms that can upset allies, Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, an international business consultant and expert on Mexico, said that the relationship between the United States and Mexico will chug on because it is too important to fall apart.

“There are a myriad of actors in the bilateral relationship, whether they are mayors or governors or cabinet secretaries,” Mr. Peschard-Sverdrup said. “President Trump is just one. He’s an important actor to some point, but the relationship is greater than the personality of the two heads of state.”











Follow Us on Twitter

Mexico rescinded offer American hurricane victims saying needed earthquake recovery. reversal also came after President Trump stayed quiet over disaster.

Related stories with Mattis Heads to Mexico Amid Strain Over Disaster Condolences and Aid

Japan tries driverless buses to keep rural elderly on the move -World News
Japan tries driverless buses to keep rural elderly on the move 2 months ago
As the annual rice harvest begins this month in the Japanese town of Nishikata, the combines that usually putter along the sleepy roads lining its rice fields are…
Nuclear regulator defers giving safety OK to idle TEPCO reactors -World News
Nuclear regulator defers giving safety OK to idle TEPCO reactors 2 months ago
Japan's nuclear safety watchdog on Wednesday deferred giving safety clearance for two idle Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TEPCO) reactors on the Sea of Japan coast, although…
Kyoto plans minimum Y200 per night lodging tax -World News
Kyoto plans minimum Y200 per night lodging tax 2 months ago
The city of Kyoto will propose collecting a minimum 200 yen per night tax on guests staying at hotels or other lodgings in the popular tourist area, municipal…
Atlus Showcases 3DS Lineup, Etrian Odyssey V Demo Available Today -World News
Atlus Showcases 3DS Lineup, Etrian Odyssey V Demo Available Today 2 months ago
During today's Nintendo Direct, Atlus quickly went over its array of upcoming 3DS titles. The Alliance Alive, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, and Etrian Odyssey V all made appearances.  Of particu
Minecraft Comes To Nintendo 3DS -World News
Minecraft Comes To Nintendo 3DS 2 months ago
Nintendo announced during its latest Direct that Minecraft was coming to the 3DS. If you’re impatient, you won’t have to wait long, either– the Minecraft New Nintendo 3DS edition will be available digitally today, with a retail version
Kelp Dome Returns In Splatoon 2, Along With New Stage And New Umbrella-Style Weapon -World News
Kelp Dome Returns In Splatoon 2, Along With New Stage And New Umbrella-Style Weapon 2 months ago
Splatoon 2 continues to grow and evolve, despite the game's release being more than a month ago. Today, Nintendo revealed that a fan-favorite stage from the original Splatoon, Kelp Dome, is making its return in the sequel. An all-new stage called Sna
Deadly storm Sebastian blows through Germany -World News
Deadly storm Sebastian blows through Germany 2 months ago
At least three people have been killed in a large windstorm that swept across Germany. Hurricane-force winds downed trees and toppled scaffolding, with officials warning residents to stay at home.
NFL Foundation contributes $1 million to Hurricane Irma relief -World News
NFL Foundation contributes $1 million to Hurricane Irma relief 2 months ago
The NFL Foundation will contribute $1 million to Hurricane Irma relief efforts, splitting the money evenly between the American Red Cross and the five living former American Presidents’ One America Appeal. Both organizations will address the immedia
Manziel activates 10-day window for offer from Hamilton Tiger-Cats -World News
Manziel activates 10-day window for offer from Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2 months ago
Johnny Manziel has officially told the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to squat or get out of the litter box. David William Naylor of TSN reports that Manziel has activated the 10-day window that compels the CFL team that holds Manziel’s negotiating rights to m
No practice for Danny Amendola, Dont’a Hightower -World News
No practice for Danny Amendola, Dont’a Hightower 2 months ago
The Patriots had a couple of players leave last Thursday’s loss to the Chiefs with injuries and neither one was able to join the team on the practice field on Wednesday. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower sat out with a right knee injury that was desc
Trump administration blocks takeover of Portland-based Lattice Semiconductor by Chinese investor -World News
Trump administration blocks takeover of Portland-based Lattice Semiconductor by Chinese investor 2 months ago
Citing national security concerns, President Trump will not allow a private-equity firm backed by Chinese investors to acquire Lattice Semiconductor, a maker of chips used in industrial equipment, data centers, and video devices. Lattice and Canyon Bridge
Acumatica partners with Smartsheet and Adobe, targets legacy project accounting software in update to cloud-based ERP technology -World News
Acumatica partners with Smartsheet and Adobe, targets legacy project accounting software in update to cloud-based ERP technology 2 months ago
Acumatica, the privately held enterprise cloud technology company, is rolling out integrations with Smartsheet’s project and work management tools and Adobe’s Sign eSignature technology as part of the latest version of its flagship cloud-bas