Vice President of The United States Kamala Harris met virtually with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this morning. Here are the remarks from that engagement, as sent to the White House Press List (thanks to Shelby Talcott of The Daily Caller), with the video above from The Hill.
VP: “It’s an honor to meet you again and to speak with you this morning.”
AMLO: “It’s a pleasure.”
VP: And I’m sure I don’t need to say it, but I will, but Mexico is our closest neighbor and we share a border of course, but we also share the values of dignity and respect. We share the bonds of family and friendships and we also share of course a long, deep and complex history.”
We have put in the work, however, that I believe is required to build a productive partnership and to build on the work we have done in the past. This partnership I believe couldn’t be more important today. Our nations face serious challenges – COVID being an obvious one. Economic repercussions coming from the COVID pandemic, as well as the surge of migrants arriving at our shared border.
Together, we must fight violence, we must fight corruption and impunity. It is in our countries mutual interest to provide immediate relief to the Northern Triangle and to address the root causes of migration. You and I have discussed it before and understanding a belief – most people don’t want to leave home and when they do it is often because they are fleeing some harm or they are forced to leave because there are no opportunity.
And so this is in our mutual interest to address some of these root causes. And we must continue to do our work in a way that is both bilateral and multilateral. It is our intention and it has been a guiding principle of us that we are going to do this work in a way that internationalizes our approach. That reaches out to our allies, to our friends around the globe in the mutual interest that we all should have to address the root causes in the Northern Triangle.
And our approach is a comprehensive strategy approach. Our approach is to work with international institutions, to work with nations worldwide, the private sector and community organizations. And all that being said, Mr. President, I believe there’s one more thing that our nations share, and it is the belief that together, we can make progress and we can create and build a sense of hope for the people of the Northern Triangle for the future.
And so Mr. President again it is my honor to meet with you and I look forward to visiting with you in person in June and with that I thank you for joining us.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador
*AMLO Begins speaking in Spanish before being muted for translator to speak*
AMLO (via translator): “Once again, it is a pleasure to see you again and I celebrate this meeting. It is my hope that this will be a permanent and constant relationship between us. I believe that this was a very positive, a very good decision and we thank President Biden for naming you to lead all things related to migration.
This is a topic, as I understand, that is very important to President Biden. As you have been appointed as vice president to lead all efforts regarding these issues. It is in our best interest based on our political decorum and friendship relations. Sometimes there have been instances among us. However, we have a common border that is over 3000 km long and we need to understand one another and avoid fighting.
I was saying to President Biden last time we met that when our relations were not completely positive between our countries, our President Porfirio Diaz during his administration would say: “For Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”
*laughs from room*
However, how we can say because our relations are so much better, we can say: “Blessed Mexico, so close to God and not so far from the United States.”
*laughs from room*
So I am sure we will keep understanding one another. We have so many things in common and we are in agreement when it comes to the policies that you are undertaking when it comes to migration and we will help. That is what I can say as of now. You can count on us.
We have a specific proposal that I believe will be convenient for us. But I will leave that for later.
VP: “Thank you Mr. President. I look forward to our conversation, we have many details to discuss and I will bid farewell to the press that are in our room right now so we can begin our discussion.”
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