Biden in Mexico to warm up the bilateral relationship

Joe Biden will work Monday in Mexico to warm up his relationship with his counterpart Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, to facilitate cooperation on immigration, drug trafficking and trade.

The US president is traveling as part of a so-called “three friends” summit, which will be joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who arrived shortly before 3:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. GMT) in Mexico City on Monday.

The first result of this meeting, relaunched at the end of 2021 by the United States after a five-year hiatus, was the publication of a joint statement condemning “the attacks of January 8 against Brazilian democracy”, and assuring Brazilian President Lula of the support from all three countries.

Before addressing the trilateral format, Joe Biden’s first day in Mexico was to be mainly devoted to bilateral issues.

The American president went to the border with Mexico on Sunday, where migrants have been arriving for several months in record numbers.

Joe Biden, accused of laxity on the right and coldness on the left, says he wants to “humanely” repair a “broken” immigration system.

– 30,000 migrants –

His administration announced a project to restrict the right of asylum, but also the issuance of 30,000 additional residence permits per month for migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, the countries that provide the most large flows of illegal immigrants.

The 80-year-old Democrat knows he will need the cooperation of Mexico, which has pledged to receive up to 30,000 deported illegal migrants each month.

The Mexican president assured him on Monday that he and Joe Biden wanted to look at “the roots of immigration”. In particular, he wants to mention the investments made by Mexico in El Salvador and Honduras to encourage candidates to leave to change their minds.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (2nd from left) and his wife Beatriz Gutierrez Muller (l) greet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire, in Mexico City on January 9, 2023 (AFP – CLAUDIO CRUZ)

The two heads of state and their delegations will also devote “considerable time” to the fight against fentanyl trafficking, said Jake Sullivan.

This powerful synthetic opiate is responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in the United States.

The White House also insists on Joe Biden’s desire to deepen his personal relationship with “AMLO”, who had inflicted a diplomatic snub on him last year by shunning a summit in Los Angeles.

– Face-to-face –

Joe Biden took care on Sunday to land Air Force One at a new airport near the capital, a project dear to Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plane also landed on the runways of the new airport located about fifty kilometers northeast of the capital on Monday.

Sunday evening, Messrs. Biden and Lopez Obrador traveled to central Mexico City in Joe Biden’s heavy armored limousine, “The Beast.”

It “gave them the opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion.” “I think both got a lot out of it,” said Jake Sullivan.

The two men will be joined in the evening by Justin Trudeau for a dinner with their companions.

During three-way talks on Tuesday, the three North American officials will try to agree on economic matters.

The Mexican president’s projects in favor of public companies in the energy sector are making people cringe in the United States and Canada.

Joe Biden’s grand plans to boost the production of American electric cars are worrying his neighbors.

– Haiti –

Jake Sullivan assured that this policy in favor of “made in America” ​​would have a “win-win” effect for Mexico and Canada.

Another topic on the agenda, concerning more Canada and the United States: the possible sending of an intervention force in Haiti.

Washington “believes it is important to find a country to lead this effort”, said the American adviser.

Joe Biden had relaunched the tripartite summit of “tres amigos” in November 2021 at the White House.

The leaders of the three countries, linked by a free trade agreement, will make concrete announcements on Tuesday, the White House assures.

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