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Ambassador Jacobson and other officials do some digging this morning. Ambassador Jacobson and other officials do some digging this morning.

Construction begins on new US embassy

Long-awaited building in Nuevo Polanco will cost nearly $1 billion

The United States government began building a wall in Mexico today, but not on the border.

Authorities from both countries picked up shovels this morning to break ground and lay the first stone for the new U.S. embassy, a US $943-million project in Mexico City’s Nuevo Polanco district.

U.S. ambassador Roberta Jacobson said they were “breaking Mexican ground” to generate an atmosphere that will foster bilateral relations.

“Mexico is one of the United States’ closest and most valuable partners,” Jacobson said at the ceremony. “We are neighbors with a deep history and a shared future,” she said, offering a toast to the next 100 years of bilateral relations.

Mexico’s undersecretary for North American relations said building a new diplomatic headquarters represents the start of another chapter in the relationship between the two countries, to the benefit of all.

Asked by a reporter if he thought they were laying the first stone for an embassy or a wall, Carlos Sada allowed that it was “symbolic, of course. It’s a very positive situation because we are talking about a building that I think will be one of the biggest [embassies] the United States has, and not just in Latin America but in the whole world.

“And it is something that gives us great satisfaction because it will highlight what is an extremely intense, complex relationship, but at the same time profound.”

The long-planned embassy is being built on a 3.4-hectare property that used to be an industrial site, and required extensive toxic clean-up.

It is expected to open in 2022.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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