Biden, Mexican counterpart discuss migration, fentanyl, arms trafficking

Biden, Mexican counterpart discuss migration, fentanyl, arms trafficking

Leaders also discuss reducing crowding in northern Mexico, recent positive developments in other areas of bilateral cooperation

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden spoke by phone Tuesday with his Mexican counterpart on strengthening relations between their countries as well as addressing various challenges, particularly the unprecedented migration flows in the region ahead of the lifting of Title 42.

Biden and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador discussed close coordination between border authorities, the importance of managing migration in a humane and orderly fashion, and addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, said the White House.

The leaders also talked about reducing crowding in northern Mexico and recent positive developments in other areas of bilateral cooperation, such as counteracting illicit fentanyl and arms trafficking and modernizing their shared border.

"President Biden committed to using all available tools to address arms trafficking and reduce the flow of firearms into Mexico. The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to modernize the shared border and promote inclusive economic growth," said the White House.

The call between the two leaders came days before the lifting of Title 42, a public health order issued under the Trump administration in March 2020.

It allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants, including asylum seekers, apprehended at the US-Mexico border due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lifting of Title 42 could lead to a surge in the number of migrants at the southern border.

Lopez Obrador highlighted that his conversation with Biden lasted about one hour and emphasized the importance of the US and Mexico being "good neighbors and friends."

"We reaffirm our commitment to continue working together on issues such as migration with a humanist dimension, drug and arms trafficking and, above all, cooperation for the well-being of the poorest peoples of our continent," the Mexican leader wrote on Twitter.

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