The US, Mexico and Canada will meet at the White House on November 18.
Mexico faces with “optimism” its summit on Thursday with the United States and Canada and hopes that it will focus on issues such as vaccine production, development aid in Central America and economic integration.
This was stated on his arrival in Washington on Wednesday by the Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, who affirmed that other more thorny issues are not formally on the summit’s agenda, such as the Mexican energy reform, the relationship with Cuba or the migratory program “Remain in Mexico”.
However, he did not rule out that US President Joe Biden may also raise these issues in his bilateral meeting at the White House with his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which will be the first in-person meeting between the two.
Speaking to the press outside the Mexican embassy in Washington, Ebrard was “optimistic” about the prospects for the North American Leaders Summit, popularly known as the “Three Friends” Summit, which used to be held annually but had not been held. convened since 2016.
“That it takes place now is a very good sign. It is something that President López Obrador has promoted, he has wanted to raise in various forums. We see very well that this summit is held,” said the minister about this type of meeting, which no year was celebrated during the term of the American Donald Trump (2017-2021).
The meeting between the three leaders will take place in the afternoon and will talk about the pandemic, medical equipment and “research, development and production of vaccines in North America”, as well as about “economic integration and value and supply chains “he explained.
“We will also touch on the issue of the development of southern Mexico and Central America, in response to migratory phenomena,” added Ebrard.
In addition to participating in the trilateral summit, López Obrador will hold his first in-person meeting so far in the morning with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which they will discuss, among other things, “reconciliation with indigenous peoples,” according to The chancellor.
Then, shortly after noon, the Mexican president will hold a meeting at the White House with the US Vice President, Kamala Harris, before participating in a bilateral meeting with Biden.
At that meeting, Biden and López Obrador will review the progress made in the recent bilateral High-Level Economic Dialogue, and the progress that has been made so far regarding the Bicentennial Understanding, the new cooperation plan between the two countries that replaces the Merida Initiative of 2008.
There will be no final press conference of the three leaders, as used to be the case in past summits, and instead they are expected to release a joint statement in writing, something that Ebrard justified on the grounds that it is “more accurate.”
Biden held separate virtual meetings with Trudeau in February and with López Obrador in March. The Mexican leader also received Vice President Kamala Harris in Mexico City in June. According to his chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, López Obrador will hold bilateral meetings with Biden and Trudeau on the sidelines of the tripartite meeting.
The White House said the next meeting will reaffirm the “strong ties and integration of the countries and, at the same time, chart a new path for collaboration” on issues such as the pandemic, climate change, immigration and economic growth.
Ebrard explained that the Mexican president would raise his concern about the unequal distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 and medical capacity in the global fight against the pandemic and would address the need to support development as a way to reduce migration.
“Where are we going? What do we have to do together? How do we achieve the objectives that are common to us? ”Asked the Mexican Foreign Minister. “We are on that path of having a common vision and acting together.”
For Trudeau, according to his office, the priorities are similar: “end the fight against COVID-19 and vaccination, tackle the climate crisis, create new jobs for the middle class, make the economic recovery work for everyone and migration” .
The foreign minister avoided mentioning climate change, an issue in which Mexico has disagreements with the United States because Washington has shown its concern about the reform underway in the Mexican Congress that would limit competition in the energy sector.
Biden has tried to stabilize relations with both nations after Trump strained them. With Trudeau he discussed, among other things, trade issues, and with López Obrador he maintained a tense understanding based on pressure and the threat of imposing tariffs on Mexican products if his government did not stop the flow of migrants north, something that the Mexican finally did.
In fact, despite coming from contrary political ideologies, Trump and López Obrador boasted of the good relationship they had and although the Mexican president had avoided traveling outside the country since he came to power, he went to visit Trump at the White House in July 2020, in the midst of a pandemic.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.