Photo provided by the Presidency of Mexico of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (L) and his US counterpart Joe Biden (R) at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, United States, 17 November 2023. EFE/Presidency of Mexico/Editorial Use ONLY/AVAILABLE ONLY FOR ILLUSTRATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING NEWS (OBLIGATORY CREDIT)

Biden and López Obrador pledge to cooperate on migration and fight against fentanyl

San Francisco, USA, Nov 17 (EFE).- The presidents of the United States, Joe Biden, and Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, pledged on Friday to collaborate on issues such as migration and the fight against fentanyl trafficking.

“Nothing is beyond our reach when Mexico and the United States stand together and work together as we’ve been doing,” Biden said, sitting next to López Obrador in a room at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, during the final day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

At the start of the meeting and in front of the media, Biden highlighted the security cooperation between the two nations, “We’re working side by side to combat arms trafficking, to combat – tackle organized crime, and to address the opioid epidemic and – including fentanyl.”

In a sign of complicity, Biden told López Obrador that when they were alone, he wanted to talk to him about the “GREAT” conversation he had Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping about fentanyl, a powerful opioid that claims the lives of nearly 200 Americans a day.

According to the White House, Biden and Xi reached an agreement Wednesday for China to control the flow of certain chemicals used to manufacture fentanyl from its territory. In return, the US State Department announced Thursday that it had lifted sanctions on a Chinese entity responsible for combating drug trafficking.

“In terms of the fight against drugs, Mexico’s commitment is to continue to work to prevent the introduction of chemicals and fentanyl,” said López Obrador, who in previous occasions had denied that fentanyl was being produced in his country, as the United States claims.

Specifically, according to Washington, Mexican cartels use precursor chemicals from China to produce this opioid, fifty times more potent than heroin, and then sell it illegally in the United States.

A development plan for Latin America Another focus of the meeting was migration, senior US officials told reporters afterward.

López Obrador used the opportunity to stress to Biden the need to promote a development plan in Latin America to curb forced migration, similar to the “Alliance for Progress” championed by US President John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) more than 60 years ago to combat poverty in the region.

The White House said in a statement that both leaders pledged to “address the root causes” and “expand lawful pathways” for migration.

In addition, they will work together to combat the actions of Nicaragua, which Washington accuses of “taking to facilitate irregular migration for profit.” EFE