Mexico has welcomed a proposal by a US official that seized funds from drugs cartels could be used to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border that President Donald Trump has pledged to build.
Trump's pledge that Mexico will pay for the wall has led to a diplomatic spat with Mexico, with President Enrique Pena Nieto cancelling a meeting with Trump last week.
However diplomats have continued negotiations, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday (29 January) there was a "buffet of options" to fund the wall along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometre) border
He told CBS's Face the Nation that the wall could be funded through import and export taxes and credits, fining people entering the country illegally, drugs cartels, or "all of the above".
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has estimated the wall will cost between $12bn (£9.6bn) and $15bn.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray welcomed suggestions that cartels pay for the wall, AFP reported.
"It's undoubtedly positive progress that they are talking about someone that is not Mexico. Narcos are not Mexico," Videgaray told the Televisa network.
"It's a signal that – at least that's how I interpret it – must be welcomed because we are already seeing how the discussion is changing."
Neither specified how cartel cash could fund the wall.
The US Treasury has imposed has imposed sanctions by freezing the US assets of suspected cartel members, and convicted drugs kingpins can have their funds seized.
US Prosecutors are seeking $14bn of assets belonging to notorious Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was recently extradited to the US to stand trial.
Cartels make approximately $12bn a year from the lucrative US drugs market annually, according to the Drugs Enforcement Agency, with local law enforcement allowed to keep a portion of cash and other assets seized to incentive their battle against drugs crime.
According to 2007 Justice Department figures, state law enforcement agencies seized $1.58 that year, not including the millions seized through asset forfeiture.