Camel trekking through the sand dunes of the Sahara desert near Merzouga Morocco

The idea was simple: "Build a wall across the Sahara".

Trump also brushed off the suggestion that the size of the Sahara would make it a hard task, by saying: "The Sahara border can't be bigger than our border with Mexico".

Trump vowed that he would build a "big handsome wall" across the US-Mexico border, which is 2,000 miles long.

Building a wall through the Sahara would be more complicated still, given that Spain would need the co-operation of foreign nations to build on their territory. It does not, though, have sovereignty over the desert.

No one at the press department of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid was immediately available for comment when contacted by phone.

ABC News' John Parkinson contributed reporting from the White House.

In this Wednesday, May 9, 2018 photo provided by Liberian Ju Dennis, fellow migrants being expelled from Algeria lie in a truck headed towards the Niger border at Point Zero, from which they must walk south into the Sahara Desert towards the Nigerien border post of Assamaka.

Immigration is a hot topic in Spain, as it is in much of Europe.

In recent months, Spain has been complaining about the surge of undocumented migrants who take hazardous journeys to reach the Eldorado.

Spanish diplomats, however, pointed out that the Sahara Desert stretched for 3,000 miles.

In June, Trump received worldwide backlash when the USA government separated migrating children from parents, some asylum seekers after crossing the border.

A ministry spokesman tells the Guardian: "We can confirm that's what the minister said, but we won't be making any further comment on the minister's remarks".

The comment echoes his election campaign pledge to build a wall to separate the United States and Mexico. They have become magnets for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe and refugees fleeing persecution and conflict.

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