A team of US delegates led by Vice President Joe Biden were present to show their support for the new President of Mexico on his visit to the White House. Enrique Pena Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has replaced Felipe Calderon from the conservative National Action Party (PAN). Pena Nieto joins office five months after his election victory i.e. on 1st of December, 2012.


President Enrique Pena Nieto wraps up US visit
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and John Brennan, the White House's top counterterrorism adviser were also part of the US delegation. Pena Nieto arrived in Washington late Monday for a White House visit with President Barack Obama which was scheduled for Tuesday. The victory of Pena Nieto also marks the return of the centrist PRI after a 12-year hiatus from national power. The PRI governed Mexico between 1929 and 2000.

President Obama and President Pena Nieto met for one hour at the Oval Office. They first met with their top advisers and then had a private meet. The leaders of both the countries discussed bilateral, regional and global issues, including the drug war raging along their shared border of more than 1,800 miles or 3,000 kilometers. It is has become a custom since 1980 that the presidents-elect of each country members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) along with Canada visit their respective neighbor's capital before taking office.

With presidential elections over in both countries, "the results offer an opportunity to redirect our countries' bilateral relationship," Pena Nieto wrote in a recent Washington Post opinion piece. Pena Nieto has vowed to shift the focus to reducing the wave of murders, kidnappings and extortion that is tormenting Mexicans. "I will continue the efforts begun by President Felipe Calderon, but the strategy must necessarily change," the president-elect wrote.

The United States is providing equipment and law enforcement training to Mexico under the $1.6 billion Merida Initiative, a program aimed at combating drug trafficking in a country that is a major trading partner.

Before returning to his country to assume office, Pena Nieto met with leaders on Capitol Hill and traveled to Canada to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Author: