President Joe Biden hosted Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador today March 1 for a virtual bilateral meeting to review cooperation on migration and to advance joint efforts to promote development in Southern Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America. Building on their positive January 22 conversation, the two Presidents reaffirmed the enduring partnership between both countries, based on mutual respect, and the extraordinary bond of family and friendship. Both leaders committed to working together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, to reinvigorate economic cooperation, and to explore areas of cooperation on climate change. They also reaffirmed the importance of combating corruption and security cooperation.
President Biden started the conversation remembering that from the 16 visits he made to Latin America, four were to Mexico. He said it was an honor to meet president Lopez Obrador on one of these visits (March 2012).
President Biden also mentioned he got to know Mexico and its people and paid respect to Virgin de Guadalupe: ” As a matter of fact I still have the rosary my son had when he passed”.
President Obrador spoke in Spanish and thanked President Biden for starting the meeting by mentioning the Virgin of Guadalupe. ” We as Mexicans respect and admire two symbols. They might be different however they call to the plurality of our country- one is the virgen de guadalupe and Benito Juárez (the first president of Mexico who was of indigenous origin) – the best president we ever had.” President Lopez Obrador said.
Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation on Migration
Both leaders recognized the many contributions of migrants to the economic strength, cultural diversity, and innovative spirit of the United States and Mexico, and committed to immigration policies that recognize the dignity of migrants and the imperative of orderly, safe, and regular migration. They agreed to collaborate on a joint effort to address the root causes of regional migration, to improve migration management, and to develop legal pathways for migration. Respectively, they directed the Secretariat of Foreign Relations and the Department of State to engage with the governments of neighboring countries, civil society, and private sectors through policies that promote equitable and sustainable economic development, combat corruption, and improve law enforcement cooperation against transnational criminal smuggling networks.
Bilateral Cooperation for the Response and Recovery from COVID-19
Both Presidents reaffirmed the importance of close collaboration to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in areas related to economic and health cooperation. They agreed to deepen cooperation on pandemic response, including by enhancing public health capabilities, information sharing, and the development of border policies. Recognizing the strategic importance of the bilateral economic relationship, they reaffirmed their shared commitment to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as a driver for North American prosperity and labor rights in both countries by generating job opportunities, improving worker protections, and preventing forced labor. Both leaders agreed to strengthen supply chain resilience and security. The leaders also agreed to re-start the High Level Economic Dialogue to further these aims.
Bilateral Climate Change Cooperation
The two Presidents highlighted the importance of tackling the climate crisis and agreed to explore areas of cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the benefits of addressing short-lived climate pollutants, as well as the need to promote energy efficiency. They discussed how they can work together to support a successful outcome at this year’s Climate Leaders’ Summit on April 22nd hosted by the United States.
”Integration will strengthen both of our countries… Our relations are strategic. I also want to thank you for wanting to base our relations on respect and equality. And we must keep cooperating for further development based on independence and autonomy. Potentialize what our people means to us.” President Lopez Obrador said to President Biden.