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US president Donald Trump has urged the Spanish government to tackle the Mediterranean migration crisis by building a wall across the Sahara desert, Spain’s foreign minister has said.

According to Josep Borrell, the president wants the EU member country to emulating his infamous Mexico border policy. Trump also brushed off the suggestion that the size of the Sahara would make it a difficult task, by saying: “The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico.”

The length of the US-Mexico border is less than 2,000 miles compared to the Sahara that runs for around 3,000 miles. As Spain is located in Europe and the Sahara is located in Africa, building such a wall would also require it to be constructed on foreign territory.

Borrell revealed Trump’s comments at a lunch event in Madrid this week. “We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks,” said a spokesman for the foreign ministry.

Building a wall along the Mexico-US border in order to reduce immigration into the United States was one of the flagship policies that led to Donald Trump becoming president in the 2016 election.

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Progress on the construction of the wall has been stalled by the refusal of Mexico to provide funding toward it and by Democrats in Congress.