Mexico City, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 10th Jan, 2023 ) : US President Joe Biden on Monday sought tougher action on illegal migration and drugs in talks with his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as strains showed in the neighbors’ approach to tackling the crisis.
Biden is visiting Mexico for the first time as president to meet Lopez Obrador and also hold three-way talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at what is dubbed the “Three Amigos” summit.
Biden said that one of his priorities was discussing “the plague of fentanyl, which has killed 100,000 Americans so far,” referring to the often-deadly opioid smuggled across the border by Mexican drug cartels.
Another vital issue was “how we can tackle irregular migration, which I think we’re well on our way to doing,” he said at the start of the talks, calling Mexico a “true partner.” While Lopez Obrador gave Biden a warm welcome on his arrival at the presidential palace, his tone hardened at the formal talks, where the Mexican leader appealed for a change in US attitudes towards the region.
“It is time to end this oblivion, this abandonment, this disdain for Latin America and the Caribbean,” Lopez Obrador said.
Biden defended Washington’s record, saying it had spent “tens of billions of dollars” in the past 15 years alone that had benefited the region.
“The United States provides more foreign aid than every other country just about combined,” he said.
“Unfortunately, our responsibility just doesn’t end in the Western Hemisphere,” Biden added.
The White House said after the meeting that the two leaders had discussed “increased cooperation to prosecute drug traffickers and dismantle criminal networks, disrupt the supply of illicit precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, shut down drug laboratories, and prevent trafficking of drugs, arms, and people across our shared border.” They also “reaffirmed their commitment to implement innovative approaches to address irregular migration… and to address the root causes of migration,” a statement said.