Forget friction, make way for cooperation: the American and Mexican presidents on Tuesday showed their desire to “close ranks” in the face of the migration crisis at their common border and inflation.
Joe Biden called his counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a “friend” and a “partner” whom he received for the second time at the White House.
The Mexican head of state, however, inflicted a strong snub on him in early June, refusing to participate in the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on the grounds that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua had not been invited.
The two men also differ on the crisis in Ukraine, with the Mexican refusing to join in on Western-imposed sanctions against Russia.
“Despite the exaggerated headlines we often see, we both have a solid working relationship”, assured Joe Biden.
“I believe that by working together, we can help each other solve our respective problems”, continued the Democratic president, emphasizing the migration crisis on the border between the two countries.
Citing the death of 53 migrants, including many Mexicans, in an overheated truck in Texas on June 27, he assured that the United States had stepped up the fight against smugglers who put potential immigrants at risk.
“We need every country in the region to join us,” said the Democrat, accused by the Republican opposition of being lax in the face of record arrests of illegal migrants on the southern border.
His Mexican counterpart also pleaded for “enhanced cooperation” between the two countries, while setting his own demands: regularization of migrants who have been living in the United States for a long time.
Referring to “difficult times” with inflation “from which the whole world is suffering”, the nationalist leftist president also suggested suspending customs tariffs between the two countries “to lower prices for the benefit of consumers”.
“Despite our differences and our disagreements, which are not easy es to forget, we have, on several occasions, been able to work as true allies”, continued Mr. Lopez Obrador.