High-level US delegation heads to Mexico City hoping to reset relations

World Today

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray shake hands after a press conference in Mexico City, Friday, July 13, 2018. Pompeo visited Mexico with Cabinet-level officials to meet with both Pena Nieto and president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after a sea-change election that could offer a chance for the neighbors to repair strained relations. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

The rocky U.S.-Mexico relationship gets a boost. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led a high-level delegation to Mexico City for a series of meetings with Mexico’s President and president-elect.

They’re hoping for a *reset* now that the country as picked a populist, leftist as it’s next leader.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras has details.

Pompeo came to Mexico City Friday with other members of the Trump cabinet including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner. The first order of business – a meeting with outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

In a brief news conference, Mexico’s foreign relations minister said the Mexican president urged the United States to reunite immigrant children separated from their parents as part of Trump’s zero tolerance policy.

“The president of Mexico spoke with Secretary Pompeo and the rest of the delegation about the great concern that exists in Mexico for children who have been separated from their parents at the border,” said Mexico’s Foreign Relations Minister Luis Videgaray. “He asked Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Nielsen, and the rest of the delegation that maximum efforts be made to achieve family reunification.”

Pompeo also went to the campaign headquarters of Mexico’s incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Lopez Obrador introduced the man who will become Mexico’s next Foreign Relations Minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

The President-elect, AMLO, as the left-leaning former Mexico City mayor is known, gave Pompeo a letter for Trump stating the top priorities he sees for bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico. The economy topped the list. AMLO underscored his desire to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement as soon as possible. Social development and anti-poverty programs are also in Lopez Obrador’s letter to Trump, as are the key issues of Immigration, economic development and regional security.

Pompeo said a strong relationship with Mexico’s next president is a Trump administration priority.

“It was a priority for me and our team to come to Mexico soon after the election to begin building our relationship with him and his team,” said Pompeo. “In that visit with President-elect Lopez Obrador, we discussed how Mexico and the United States could advance common goals, including strong economic growth, good jobs and expanded opportunities for citizens of each of our two countries.”

All sides agreed that Friday’s meetings between Mexican and U.S. government officials were respectful and cordial. But Mexican and U.S. officials also know that could all change with one Twitter message from the man in the White House.