U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States and Mexico are working “side by side” to tackle migration, organized crime and the opioid epidemic.
During a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, conference in San Francisco, Biden said on Friday, “Mexico and the United States stand together” in addressing the issues.
López Obrador said: “As far as the fight against drugs goes, Mexico is committed to continue helping to prevent the entry of chemicals and fentanyl.”
He said Mexico was “fully aware of the damage it poses to the United States’ youth.”
The Mexican president also praised Biden for his immigration policies and called him “a man with conviction.”
Following the talks, the White House said the two leaders had “agreed to sustain and expand the close cooperation that we have achieved in managing migration” in the region.
During last month’s U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue, U.S. and Mexican officials focused heavily on the issue of fentanyl trafficking between the two nations.
Biden and López Obrador had also been expected to discuss trade Friday. This year, Mexico became the top U.S. trading partner, after exchanging more than $860 billion in goods and services last year, an all-time high.
The Associated Press reported that López Obrador said he would also use Friday’s meeting to take up the case for Cuba and would urge Biden to resume a dialogue with the island nation to end U.S. sanctions.
Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday and used Thursday to highlight strong economic ties between the U.S. and the other Pacific nations. The president later had one final large gathering of leaders Friday where he will formally transfer the APEC chair to Peruvian President Dina Boluarte.