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Biden is challenged by Mexico’s president for his ‘forgetfulness’ during the summit of North American leaders

Biden is challenged by Mexico’s president for his ‘forgetfulness’ during the summit of North American leaders

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued a challenge President Biden about his “forgetting” to help Latin American countries during Monday’s summit of North American leaders. He also encouraged him to prioritize resolving the migration crisis affecting the US-Mexico border.

Although public comments have had a mostly positive tone, López Obrador pressed Biden for his “abandonment” and “forgetting” to help Central America countries.

“This is the moment to decide to remove this abandonment, this contempt and this forgetting about Latin America and the Caribbean,” López Obrador said during a press conference on Monday.

López Obrador also said Biden has “the key” to improving life in the region.

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media briefing as part of the 2023 North American Leaders Summit at the Palacio Nacional on January 10, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.
(Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

“You hold the key in your hand,” the Mexican leader told president of the usa.

By Tuesday, López Obrador’s comments were more positive, as he praised Biden for not building “even one meter of wall,” a clear reference to Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

Still, López Obrador called on Biden to “press” Congress to make more accommodations to allow undocumented Mexican migrants to work in industries where American employers struggle to hire.

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US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during a welcoming ceremony at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City on January 9,

US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during a welcoming ceremony at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City on January 9,
(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the 10th North American Leaders Summit at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.

President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the 10th North American Leaders Summit at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnick)

Mexico’s president also spoke at length about his country’s efforts to help curb the fentanyl flow in USA. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has become the leading driver of drug overdose deaths in America.

“We’re fighting fentanyl, these chemicals, and we’re doing it because we care. No person is alien to us,” he said. “It’s really important for us to be able to help with what’s going on in the United States, the fentanyl deaths. But as we discussed today, this is not just a problem for the United States, because if we don’t face this problem, this scourge, we will suffer from it as well. So we have to act in a coordinated way.”

Biden, Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met on Monday and Tuesday for the North American Leaders Summit, where the three world leaders shared their common goals on global trade, managing large waves of migrants coming to the region and supporting Ukraine.

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They also discussed tackling energy issues and semiconductor manufacturing, mitigating the impact of climate change — pledging to reduce methane emissions — and forming a more cohesive regional strategy to address future health threats related to the pandemic.

“The three of us are real partners,” Biden said Tuesday at a joint news conference in Mexico City. He also said they each share “genuine likes” for each other.

“We share a common vision for the future based on common values,” Biden added.

President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau embrace during a news conference at the 10th North American Leaders Summit at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.

President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau embrace during a news conference at the 10th North American Leaders Summit at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnick)

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, second from left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pose for an official photo at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, second from left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pose for an official photo at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Despite the accolades, the leaders have found themselves at odds over the past year.

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“We have to make sure that the decisions are driven by the people of Haiti themselves,” Trudeau said Tuesday, calling the situation “heartbreaking.”

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In addition, the US and Mexico continue to strategize on how best to deal with the influx of migrants seeking access to America.

Many of these migrants – mostly from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela have been forced to wait at the US-Mexico border as Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy, expires.

While the Biden administration continues to maintain that the border is “secure,” US Customs and Border Protection reported that there were more than 2.3 million encounters with migrants in fiscal year 2022 alone.

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That figure tops the then-historic 1.7 million encountered in fiscal 2021. So far in fiscal 2023, which began in October, migrant encounters are ahead of the same period last year.

Adam Sabes of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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