President López Obrador and United States President-elect Joe Biden committed to work together for the good of Mexico and the U.S. during a telephone conversation on Saturday.
“From the historic town hall of Valladolid, Yucatán, I’ve spoken by telephone with the president-elect of the United States Joseph Biden. We reaffirmed the commitment to work together for the wellbeing of our people and nations,” López Obrador said on Twitter.
The conversation between the two men took place five days after AMLO, as the president is best known, finally congratulated Biden on his victory in last month’s presidential election. López Obrador decided to hold off on congratulating the former U.S. vice president until the Electoral College confirmed his victory over Donald Trump.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who accompanied López Obrador during his call to Biden, said the conversation between the pair was “cordial” and that there will be “broad bilateral cooperation and a very good relationship between the presidents of Mexico and the United states.”
In another tweet, Ebrard said that “a new stage in the bilateral relationship” will soon begin.
Biden’s transition team published a readout of the conversation between the president-elect and López Obrador, which said that the former thanked the latter for his congratulations and “expressed his commitment to build a strong relationship with Mexico on a foundation of respect for the rule of law and advancing shared values.”
It also said that Biden “emphasized the need to reinvigorate U.S.-Mexico cooperation to ensure safe and orderly migration, contain Covid-19, revitalize the economies of North America, and secure our common border.”
The president-elect and López Obrador noted a shared desire to address the root causes of migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and southern Mexico, the readout said.
Large numbers of people from those three Central American countries have traveled through Mexico to seek asylum in the United States since López Obrador took office in late 2018. The arrival of so-called migrant caravans on the Mexico-United States border angered Trump, prompting him to threaten to impose tariffs on Mexican goods if the Mexican government didn’t do more to stop the people flows.
Tariffs were averted only after Mexico agreed to deploy the National Guard to stop migrants traveling to the U.S. border.
Biden and López Obrador expressed their desire “to build a future of greater opportunity and security for the region” in order to deter migration.
“They discussed working together on a new approach to regional migration that offers alternatives to undertaking the dangerous journey to the United States,” the readout said.
The president-elect “pledged to work closely with Mexico and other regional partners — including civil society, the private sector, international organizations, and governments — during the early months of his administration to build the regional and border infrastructure and capacity needed to facilitate a new orderly and humane approach to migration that will respect international norms regarding the treatment of asylum claims.”
Biden will be inaugurated as U.S. president on January 20 for a four-year term to conclude in January 2025. By that time, López Obrador’s successor will have been sworn in as Mexico’s 66th president.