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Israel has apologised to Mexico for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tweet on Saturday praising President Donald Trump’s wall building plans.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin telephoned Enrique Peña Nieto after Mexico expressed its “profound surprise, rejection and disappointment” to the tweet in which Mr Netanyahu said: “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”

“Mexico is a friend of Israel and should be treated as such by its prime minister,” the foreign ministry said at the weekend, reports Jude Webber in Mexico City.

Mr Rivlin told his counterpart that Israel had not been seeking to compare Israel’s security situation with that of Mexico and “lamented the misunderstanding caused by this tweet,” according to a statement from the Mexican president’s office.

Mr Peña Nieto said the tweet had “disconcerted Mexico and the Mexican-Jewish community and had hurt the relationship between both sides”. Mr Rivlin apologised and both presidents said they hoped they could now return to cooperation and friendship as normal.

Mexico is still waiting for another apology, though. Mr Trump last week humiliated Mexico by signing an executive order to begin his border wall while Mexico’s foreign and economy ministers were at the White House, and tweeted that unless Mexico would pay for it, there was no point in holding a planned summit with Mr Peña Nieto. The Mexican president promptly scrapped his trip.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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