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Migration and the battle against fentanyl dominate the conversation between López Obrador and Biden


The summit between Mexico and the United States runs according to the script that had been proposed, although specific agreements have not yet been announced prior to the trilateral meeting with Trudeau

The immigration crisis, the war on fentanyl and the fight against climate change.

Those have been the main issues of the bilateral summit between Mexico and the United States, led this Monday by presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Joe Biden.

"Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement innovative perspectives to tackle irregular immigration," read a statement from the White House, adding "a commitment to address the root causes of immigration."

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, arrived in Mexico and has already joined the work tour to start the North American Leaders Summit on Tuesday, the chapter that includes the participation of the

Three Amigos

, in a program with few surprises regarding the script that had been advanced in previous days, but from which an official statement and more concrete results of the diplomatic meeting are expected.

In their initial statements, Biden and López Obrador laid bare the positions and priorities of their governments.

The Mexican president has urged his US counterpart to increase development cooperation and invest more forcefully in social programs for Central America to deal with the exodus of immigrants.

"It is time to put an end to this forgetfulness, abandonment, and disdain for Latin America and the Caribbean," said the Latin American president.

"President Biden, I am certain that you are a humanist and visionary ruler," he added, in a speech in which he placed great emphasis on launching a new stage in political relations on the continent.

"There are unbeatable conditions for economic and social integration on our continent," insisted López Obrador,

"There is no other leader called to implement this company."

"Welcome home, President Biden."

Biden, on the other hand, gave a more hardline message: he has spoken about insecurity, the public health crisis due to synthetic drug trafficking and the deep problems around irregular immigration.

“If we are safer, we will work better together”, the president has said about the need to achieve more and better results in the joint fight against organized crime.

The president has qualified that "both countries are headed for a future of peace and prosperity."

Washington's position is to push to go a step further in the existing agreements.

"We are at a turning point, what we do in the coming years will change what happens in the coming decades," he commented.

In the section of the meeting that was broadcast, both presidents showed that, although they agree on most of the roadmap, they do not necessarily agree on the way in which common challenges should be tackled.

While López Obrador called for "oblivion" and "disdain", Biden defended that "the US provides more assistance than any other country in the world" and the responsibility of its Government on the international stage "does not end in the Western Hemisphere".

It is a recurring phenomenon in diplomatic summits, the same agreements are reached, but the political messages are directed for internal consumption and differ substantially.

The first issue discussed at the bilateral summit was climate change.

The Mexican Cabinet and the team of John Kerry, the White House special envoy on the matter, reviewed the Sonora Plan.

This is López Obrador's proposal for the energy transition to give a boost to renewable sources, one of the weak points of his Administration, and link it with economic benefits for the region.

The expansion of the semiconductor supply chain is one of the most important agreements and it is planned to combine the exploitation of key minerals in the Mexican State of Sonora with a


in Arizona to increase North American competitiveness.

Mexico agrees to reduce its impact on the environment in exchange for alternatives that translate into a boost to trade integration under the umbrella of TMEC.


The latest on the North American Summit, live

The second issue on the agenda was migration and development cooperation.

Mexico wants to expand a joint investment plan in Central America, which promotes social programs in El Salvador and Honduras, to Guatemala and Belize.

The objective is to attack the structural causes and create better conditions in the communities that expel migrants.

Washington put forward the immigration agreement that it announced last week to receive up to 30,000 citizens of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti each month who have a "sponsor" in the United States.

Instead, the plan stiffens the penalties for those who seek to enter without documents and deports them to Mexico, which will have to assume that burden.

Last year closed with more than two million immigration detentions, the highest number since World War II,

The third big item is security and the war on drugs.

The United States is suffering from the scourge of the opioid crisis that claims tens of thousands of lives each year through overdoses, especially in the young population.

Washington pushed to bring to the table the fentanyl trade and the role of the Mexican cartels as the main source of the illegal trade in the world.

Mexico is willing to face the problem of drug trafficking from a point of view of shared responsibilities, but it is jealous of its sovereignty and does not want to feed the image that it is subject to pressure from the White House.

“Both presidents discussed increasing cooperation to bring drug traffickers to justice and dismantle criminal networks, influence the supply of illicit chemical precursors used to produce fentanyl,

Both countries also exchanged points of view and condemned the coup assault in Brazil, although they left the political crisis in Peru out of official pronouncements.

The closing of the bilateral summit occurred at night, when Trudeau arrived with his wife at the National Palace for the three leaders to have dinner in private at the headquarters of the Mexican Government.

The lunch behind closed doors marked the end of the official activities of the day and left the way open for the trilateral summit on Tuesday, where it is expected that there will be a joint declaration and the announcement of successive agreements on the Economy, Safety and Health, among Other themes.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-01-10

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