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Calderón and Obama

First meeting between Calderón and Obama
By Christa Thomas

On Monday, January 12, 2009, Mexican President Felipe Calderón met with then U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and then with leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to discuss topics of interest to both countries. The parties discussed such crucial issues as the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States, border security, immigration and economic development.

In Obama's first meeting with a foreign leader since his election, he praised President Calderón's leadership and stewardship of Mexico's economy. He stated that he considers Mexico a major ally of the United States.

The two leaders proposed organizing a strategic alliance to deal with common problems such as security. Obama also pledged to heighten efforts to stem the southbound flow of weapons and cash to drug traffickers.

"We have such an extraordinary relationship between our two countries, one that my intention is to make stronger," Obama declared. He said that his goal is to build on the commercial, security and cultural ties between the countries.

Obama said the message that he brought to President Calderón is that his administration will begin work immediately to strengthen the U.S.–Mexico relationship. He believes the existing association between the two border nations is strong, but said that he thinks that it can be made stronger. And, he promised to try to make it so.


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