President Joe Biden said last Monday that he would treat Mexico as an “equal” because both countries are “stronger” when they work together, as he met virtually with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“We see Mexico as an equal, not as someone south of our border,” Biden said at the start of the meeting, which occurred telematically because of the pandemic, with both presidents communicating through screens.
“You are our equals, and what you do, and how successful you are, has a dramatic impact on what happens on the rest of the continent,” he added.
Sitting between an American and a Mexican flag in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden said he was “delighted” to talk with López Obrador, the second leader of another country with whom he has met virtually since taking office in January, following his telematic meeting last week with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The United States and Mexico are stronger when we work together. We have not been perfect neighbors with each other, but we are safer when we work together,” he stressed.
One of the journalists who had access at the beginning of the meeting asked Biden if the United States will send vaccines to Mexico, and the U.S. president responded, “We’re going to talk about that.”
Shortly before, however, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in her daily press conference that Biden has no intention of sharing with Mexico part of the U.S. supply of COVID-19 vaccines, as requested by Lopez Obrador.
The meeting was attended by U.S. Secretaries of State and Homeland Security Anthony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas, respectively, as well as Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, and the President’s homeland security advisor, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
Completing the U.S. delegation were the White House Southern Border Coordinator and former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, and the National Security Council’s Latin America fellow, Juan Gonzalez.
Mexico was represented by, among others, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard; the Secretary of Economy, Tatiana Clouthier; the head of Public Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez; the Undersecretary of National Defense, André Georges Foullon Van Lissum; and the Undersecretary of the Navy, Eduardo Redondo Arámburo.