The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, concluded his first official work visit to Washington, D.C. today, during which he reviewed topics in the bilateral relationship and strengthened the strategic aims of cooperation between the two countries.
During his meeting with President Barack Obama, the two leaders discussed priorities in security, justice and migration. They also spoke about economics, competitiveness and education. Both governments reaffirmed their commitment to build a stronger relationship with a strategic vision to meet future challenges in the region with concrete advances.
Accordingly, they agreed on a series of coordinated efforts to accompany the executive action on immigration in order to ensure that all Mexicans eligible to benefit from it may do so.
President Peña reiterated Mexico’s position that it will respect the internal processes of the United States on immigration and also affirmed that the Mexican consular network is ready to help meet the existing challenges on the matter.
Both leaders agreed that the border represents a meeting point and opportunities, and they vowed to push a new narrative about the border that highlights its positive aspects and makes it an epicenter of shared prosperity.
During the visit, both sides shared results from 2014 and goals for 2015 for the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESII) and the High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), with the aim of improving competitiveness, academic exchange and the creation of a labor force fit for the 21st century.
Additionally, a Letter of Intent was signed to create the Mexico – United States Professional Internships Program, which seeks to increase the number of students participating in professional internships at businesses with a strategic presence in both countries. The letter is the first agreement on education between the two governments since the launch of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESII); the signing of the agreement renews the commitment of both presidents to promote academic exchange and student mobility, also allowing greater connection with the private sector.
As a result of the renewed bilateral consular consultations, which began in November of 2013, the two countries signed a Memorandum on the Exchange of Consular Officials which will allow consular officials to carry out reciprocal stays in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. State Department. Priority will be given to positions related to: emergency assistance and crisis management; assistance to victims of violent crimes; and international abduction of minors and programs for preventative action. The general goal of the program is for officials from each country to learn mutually from best practices on assistance to citizens abroad.
During the meeting, the commitment to promote greater development in Central America was strengthened according to the principles of shared responsibility that both countries hold. The two countries also reaffirmed their interest in implementing the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They pledged efforts to deepen the creation of development opportunities in those three countries through investments in infrastructure.
President Peña recognized the leadership of the President of Cuba, Raúl Castro, and the President of the United States, Barack Obama, in normalizing diplomatic relations between two of Mexico's fellow neighboring countries. He also underscored that the measures will contribute to prosperity, strengthen democracy and promote human rights in the entire region. President Obama recognized the commitment of the Mexican government to facilitate and open additional channels that will help normalize diplomatic relations.
These concrete advances, which seek to promote a North American region that is more and more competitive and dynamic, reflect the commitment of both countries to prosper together, as well as construct a more solid relationship with a strategic vision that allows them to meet the challenges of the future.