Trump Urged Spain to Build Wall Across Sahara

Sahara desert

Sahara desert

Borrell spoke of Trump's Sahara wall suggestion at a lunch in Madrid this week, but did not clarify when the president made these remarks.

Spain is not one of them, so any wall would have to be built entirely on other nations' land.

"The border with the Sahara can not be bigger than ours with Mexico", the president reportedly told Mr Borrell.

Borrell continued: "Well, yes, it is way bigger than the border with Mexico, and in any case it wouldn't be very useful to do that".

"We can confirm that's what the minister said, but we won't be making any further comment on the minister's remarks", a spokesman for the foreign ministry told the Guardian.

The White House disputed the account.

The United States' border with Mexico spans almost 2,000 miles, while the 3.5 million-square-mile Sahara is about 3,000 miles long and stretches across almost a dozen North African countries. Most estimates for the Sahara put it at about 3,000 miles long from east to west.

Trump's pledge to build a wall across the 3,000-kilometre US-Mexico border became a central focus of the 2016 presidential campaign.

The left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, in power since June, has attempted to welcome the new arrivals - accepting migrant rescue boats such as the MV Aquarius after Italy rejected them.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more that 33,000 people have arrived in Spain via the western Mediterranean in 2018 - three times as many as in the same period previous year.

Since January of this year, 35,000 migrants arrived in Spain, the highest number received by any European Union country.

Spain has now overtaken Italy and Greece as the most popular destination for migrants.

Many of these cross the Sahara to Morocco and on to Spain across the Mediterranean or over two high fences into the Spanish overseas territories of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco.

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