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Development on the Agenda When Pompeo Meets with Mexico’s López Obrador

July 11, 2018 (EIRNS)—It was announced today that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will lead a delegation to Mexico to meet on Friday, July 13, with President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), and members of his transition team and his future cabinet.

Pompeo will also meet separately with outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Accompanying Pompeo will be Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, presidential advisor Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen, and the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires William Duncan. Immigration, security, and NAFTA negotiations are among the topics to be discussed, according to El Financiero.

However, in a press conference yesterday, López Obrador emphasized that his priority agenda item will be “programs for the welfare and development of the region,” and used the phrase “Alliance for Progress” to refer to a program that would bring development and jobs to Mexico and Central America. The original Alliance for Progress was, of course, the program launched by President John Kennedy in 1961, through which he sought to partner with Ibero-American governments in promoting hemispheric economic development.

Praising President Donald Trump’s respectful attitude and demonstration of good will in sending the delegation, AMLO said this shows that the U.S. President views “the proposal to base our relationship on well-being for development very positively.” To deal with the immigration problem, he said,

“we have to look at the causes that produce migration. People leave their places of origin by necessity, not because they want to. This shouldn’t happen because of lack of opportunity or poverty, much less because of insecurity or violence.... We know that the best way to tackle the migration phenomenon and the problem of security ... is to spur development in Mexico.”

Associated Press suggested that the Trump Administration may be interested in getting Mexico to agree to serve as a “safe third country,” in which asylum seekers from Central America would have to apply for refuge in the U.S. from within Mexico rather than at the U.S. border. AMLO didn’t reply to questions as to whether such a proposal would be acceptable. He did say that during the July 13 meeting, he will hand Secretary Pompeo a letter for President Trump, but indicated he won’t reveal its contents until after the meeting.

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