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Trump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization

Trump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE announced Friday evening that he was delaying a designation of Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations at the request of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

“All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations. Statutorily we are ready to do so,” Trump tweeted. 

“However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel @LopezObrador_ we will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!” 

Trump first announced last month that he would designate the cartels as terrorists, prompting Mexican officials to seek further talks with the U.S. 

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“I’ve been working on that for the last 90 days," Trump said at the time. "You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we're well into that process."

“The foreign minister will establish contact with his counterpart, Michael R. Pompeo, in order to discuss this very important issue for the bilateral agenda,” Mexico’s foreign ministry responded.

Trump’s November remarks followed an attack in northern Mexico that killed several U.S. citizens. Mexican organized crime groups are believed to be behind the killings.

Republicans have voiced support for designating cartels as terrorist groups in the past.

Reps. Mark GreenMark GreenCheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives USAID deputy leader ousted in staff shakeup amid vote counting USAID acting administrator required to leave post by midnight MORE (R-Tenn.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE (R-Texas) in February wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden's State Department picks are a diplomatic slam dunk Kissinger tells Biden to go easy on China Saudi-Israeli diplomacy progresses amid looming Middle East challenges MORE requesting that the U.S. label violent drug cartels as terrorist organizations. Roy also called for cartels to be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations in an op-ed in The Hill last month.