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Monday, July 25, 2016

President says Mexico will not Encroach in US Election Process

Office of the Mexican Presidency

President Enrique Peña Nieto said [July 22] that the Mexican government will observe the US electoral process with great interest, “But will not express its views or become involved in it. It is a matter solely for the American people.”

At a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama, the Mexican president said that, “The next US president will find in Mexico and its government a constructive, purposeful attitude and good faith to expand the relationship between our nations”.

“As of this moment, I express my absolute will to collaborate with whoever is elected leader of this great nation in November,” he added.

President Peña Nieto said: “I am sure that the political process in the coming months will be characterized by the intensity of the debate, the contrast of ideas and the vitality of citizen participation, in keeping with the great democratic tradition that characterizes the United States.”

The Mexican president expressed his respect for the two US presidential candidates, and proposed to, “engage in a frank, open dialogue with whoever is elected on the relations between our countries.”

“I am sure that with the US government, it will be possible to take a step forward to address common challenges, leverage our enormous shared opportunities and find solutions to potential differences. Its next president will find in Mexico a strategic partner to address the economic and security challenges we share,” he said.

He said that, "It is undoubtedly important for Mexico for the United States to do well and have a strong economy, and it is also in the United States’ interest for the Mexican economy to do well.”

When answering a reporter’s question about Mexico’s cooperation in fighting drug trafficking, President Barack Obama said: “I want everyone to be clear: Mexico has been a strong, consistent partner with us on these issues. If that had not been the case, we would have had a much bigger problem on our border”.

He highlighted the benefit of having a, “Mexico that cooperates with us.” And incidentally, he added, “Mexico has a healthy, robust economy. This Mexico can help us create stability and security in Central America, and that does far more to solve any problems or migration crisis or drug trafficking problems than a wall.

Presidents Peña Nieto and Obama issued a joint press statement after meeting in the Oval Office of the White House.

The Mexican president explained that since 2013, the governments of both countries agreed to work on a multi-thematic agenda for regional competitiveness. He highlighted his agreement with President Obama on the importance of institutionalizing the successes achieved in bilateral relations, “so that they endure over time.”

He recalled that as a result of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, this year more than 64,000 Mexican students are engaging in academic activities in the United States.

He added that the Economic High Level Dialogue, involving top officials from both governments, “Has undoubtedly become a platform for integration, competitiveness and growth, and we have agreed at this meeting to make it permanent, so that the benefits arising from this dialogue [will] endure over time.”

He said that joint preclearance programs have been set up at border points, “Which help reduce costs by up to 50 percent, while waiting times have been reduced by up to 60 percent.”

He noted that this program is already underway in Laredo, Texas, at the Otay Mesa border crossing in Baja California, and a similar program will soon be operating in Ciudad Juárez.

“With projects like this, we are building a safer, more modern and quicker border; a border that undoubtedly generates prosperity for both countries,” he said.

The president said that within this framework of competitiveness, “We hail the forthcoming entry into force of the Bilateral Air Agreement, which will strengthen connectivity between the two countries. The point is, from the entry into force of this agreement, for there to be more flights providing us with better links to the United States and Mexico.”

He reported that, in addition, “Today we formalized the Energy Business Council, to support Mexico's transition to a competitive, open market.

We confirmed the fact that issues such as security and migration should be addressed from an integral perspective and under the principle of shared responsibility,”

He added that with President Obama, we also, “Agreed that combating heroin use and trafficking is a priority and we must find joint solutions. To do this, we have established a high-level group on drugs, focused on heroin and fentanyl.”

"We also agreed to strengthen cooperation with the governments of Central America, particularly Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, to address the phenomenon of migration, especially as regards to protecting children traveling alone,” he said.

President Peña Nieto thanked President Obama, “For his hospitality and for this fraternal, productive meeting, which paves the way for continuing to build together as friendly, sister nations,”

“I would like to say what President Obama’s friendship with Mexico has meant. He and his administration have been good neighbors. He is a president who, first of all, is committed to the disadvantaged in his country, stability and harmony in the hemisphere, and the solution of major global challenges: climate change, international migration and the reduction of nuclear weapons,” he said.

He thanked President Obama’s administration for its, “Strong support for immigrants, including more than 35 million people of Mexican origin living in the United States, who form part of the generation of wealth and employment in this country.”

“I recognize President Barack Obama as a committed leader in our bilateral relations, which, I must say, are currently experiencing one of their best moments and stages in the history of relations between the two countries,” he said.


"The Mexican government will observe the election process in the United States with great interest but not express its opinions: EPN," Presidency of the Republic, Jul. 22, 2016, Mexico, DF; translation Presidency of the Republic

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