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'New president is serious about reform'

Obama Congress_Nost
President Obama offered a press conference a few hours ago, and the subject of Mexico came up only at the very end even though Obama will be landing here in Mexico City on Thursday for about 24 hours.

Here is the transcript of his remarks on Mexico, in response to a question from Antonieta Cadiz, a Chilean correspondent. She asked how the U.S. felt about Mexico saying Monday that all future contact with U.S. law enforcement will now go through a single gateway, the Mexican Interior Secretariat:

When it comes to Mexico, I’m very much looking forward to taking the trip down to Mexico to see the new President, Peña Nieto. I had a chance to meet him here, but this will be the first, more extensive consultations and it will be an opportunity for his ministers, my Cabinet members who are participating to really hammer out some of these issues.

A lot of the focus is going to be on economics. We’ve spent so much time on security issues between the United States and Mexico that sometimes I think we forget this is a massive trading partner responsible for huge amounts of commerce and huge numbers of jobs on both sides of the border. We want to see how we can deepen that, how we can improve that and maintain that economic dialogue over a long period of time.

That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be talking about security. I think that in my first conversation with the President, he indicated to me that he very much continues to be concerned about how we can work together to deal with transnational drug cartels. We’ve made great strides in the coordination and cooperation between our two governments over the last several years. But my suspicion is, is that things can be improved.

And some of the issues that he’s talking about really had to do with refinements and improvements in terms of how Mexican authorities work with each other, how they coordinate more effectively, and it has less to do with how they're dealing with us, per se. So I’m not going to yet judge how this will alter the relationship between the United States and Mexico until I’ve heard directly from them to see what exactly are they trying to accomplish.

But, overall, what I can say is that my impression is, is that the new President is serious about reform. He’s already made some tough decisions. I think he’s going to make more that will improve the economy and security of Mexican citizens, and that will improve the bilateral relationship as well.


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What do you think Mr. Johnson or what are the thoughts of your friend Mr. Andre Oppenheimer? Is Pena Nieto sincerely interested in reform? Or is it just bait?

pink schnoid

one thing about Obama is that he is, indeed, a super statesman...privately, I don't think that he believes half of what he said...

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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