UPDATED 10:37 AM PT — Wed. July 11, 2018
Mexico’s president elect strikes a positive tone ahead of his first meeting with several top Trump administration officials later this week.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador — or AMLO — spoke Tuesday on the upcoming meeting, where he will sit down with President Trump’s son-in-law and presidential adviser Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The president-elect praised President Trump before the bilateral talks.
“I thank him a lot, I say so sincerely, for the respectful treatment we have received from President Trump and the U.S. government and we are interested in having a good relationship with the people and government of the United States,” stated AMLO.
The meeting is expected to serve as a reset on relations between the two neighbors as ties have been strained by NAFTA negotiations and illegal immigration across the border.
AMLO continues to reaffirm he’d rather reach an agreement with NAFTA instead of just striking a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S.
He’s also pushing the U.S. to work with Mexico and Central American governments to develop more economic opportunities for residents, and less incentives for them to immigrate to the U.S.
“We think that the best way to tackle the migration phenomenon and the problems of safety, the best way to solve these matters is to spur development in Mexico,” he stated.
With Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin set to attend the talks, AMLO suggested the upcoming visit signifies the Trump administration is considering whether to foster economic ties as the countries work to create better living conditions for their citizens.
Once in office, AMLO looks to tackle the country’s crime epidemic as 40-percent of Mexico’s territory is gripped by violence and insecurity.
The high-level U.S. delegation and AMLO will meet on Friday in Mexico City.