President Donald Trump decided Friday not to officially designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, deferring instead to Mexico.
“We will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The president said that although he was fully prepared to take the tough step against the cartels, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asked him not to.
Trump said he liked and respected President Obrador, who has been working with him to help stop the flow of migrants crossing the Southern border of the United States.
President Trump was expected to meet with his advisers on Friday to discuss the designation, which he has been previewing for months.
“All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations,” he confirmed on Friday. “Statutorily we are ready to do so.”