Reuters International

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto gestures as he delivers a message about foreign affairs at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, Mexico, January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke by phone on Monday, agreeing to stay in close touch and work more quickly to deepen North American ties, Mexico's government said in a statement.

Pena Nieto "reiterated the will of the Mexican government to continue reinforcing ties ... between the two peoples," the statement said.

"Both leaders agreed to keep in close contact and intensify their teams' work to speed up the integration of a stronger and more prosperous North America," the government said.

The call comes after threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that binds the three countries if he cannot renegotiate it to benefit the United States.

U.S. authorities say Trump is more focused on large U.S. trade deficits with countries such as Mexico.

Meanwhile, Canadian officials have said they will focus on preserving U.S. trade ties during talks to renegotiate NAFTA and may not be able to help Mexico avoid being targeted by the Trump administration.

A planned summit between Trump and Pena Nieto was cancelled last week after the American real estate mogul said it was better to forgo it if Mexico was unwilling to pay for a wall separating the two countries.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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