Donald Trump urges Spain to 'build the wall' across the Sahara

Donald Trump urges Spain to 'build the wall' across the Sahara

U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly suggested that Spain address its migration crisis by adopting one of his signature policies and constructing a border wall - across the Sahara desert.

According to Josep Borrell, the United States 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".

The US-Mexico border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km) long.

An audio file obtained by CNN noted that the minister impersonated Trump's voice as he said: "You need to build a wall around the Sahara", referring to Trump's statement.

Mr Borrell told the story at a lunch event in Madrid this week, in comments that were widely reported by the Spanish media.

Trump's plan for a border wall along the US-Mexico border has encountered many obstacles in US Congress.

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The country does possess two small territories in Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, but these are situated on the northern coast of the continent - well away from the Sahara desert, which stretches across almost a dozen countries.

A foreign ministry spokesperson confirmed Borrell's comments to the Guardian, but declined to comment further.

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

Spain has experienced a surge in migration, particularly over the past year as thousands of people attempt to make the unsafe journey across the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe.

A report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows that 77,555 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018.

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