Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Obama reaches out to Mexican young

03 May 2013, 12:31

Mexico City - President Barack Obama and Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, are stepping gingerly to avoid any suggestion of meddling in each other's most contentious issues.

Instead, Obama is drawing attention to the cultural ties that have linked the two nations and the economic bonds that have begun to take hold more recently.

Obama was to deliver a speech on Friday to an audience made up primarily of students, highlighting the role they can play in deciding Mexico's future and promoting the type of broad exchanges he envisions under a new immigration regime in the United States.

After his speech, Obama was to meet privately with Mexican businessmen, where he would stress the commercial ties between the two countries. Mexico is the second-largest export market for US goods and services.

Later, he was to travel to Costa Rica, where he planned to deliver a blunter message to Central American leaders struggling with weak economies and drug violence.

Obama was to meet with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, then attend a gathering of leaders from the Central American Integration system. The regional network also includes the leaders of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The US view of the region is that its pervasive violence and security weaknesses are holding back economic growth, and that with fewer Mexicans crossing the border illegally, the rest of the region has become the main source of illegal immigration into the United States.

New initiatives

As a result, Obama is expected to call for stepped up security co-operation, regional economic integration, and improvements in human rights and democratic reforms.

Friday's Mexico City speech comes as Obama's popularity in Mexico has risen over recent years and as views of the United States also improve. A Pew Research Centre poll in March found that two-thirds of Mexicans have a favourable opinion of the US, compared with 44% favorability in 2010.

About half of Mexicans have confidence that Obama will do the right thing on world affairs, up from 38% in 2011.

Still, dozens of migrant families deported from the US even though their children were born there rallied outside the US Embassy before Obama's arrival on Thursday. "Obama, don't deport my Mama", one sign said. So far, the Obama administration has deported more than 1.6 million people.

For all the attention to commerce and trade, the visit to Mexico — less than two days long — was not designed for major breakthroughs or new initiatives. Indeed, on one of the top economic pacts before them, the two presidents merely reaffirmed a goal to conclude negotiations this year on a Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asia-Pacific trading bloc that is key to Obama's efforts to boost exports to Asia.

Both men, however, did announce a new partnership to build on the business relationship with closer cooperation between top officials in Mexico and the US, including Vice President Joe Biden.

At a joint news conference on Thursday, Obama and Pena Nieto carefully sidestepped potential trouble spots. Obama steered clear of commenting on Pena Nieto's decision to end the broad access that US security agencies have had in Mexico to combat drug trafficking, a decision that has alarmed some US officials.

Domestic affair

"President Pena Nieto and his team are organizing a vision about how they can most efficiently and effectively address these issues," Obama said. "And we will interact with them in ways that are appropriate, respecting that ultimately Mexico has to deal with its problems internally and we have to deal with ours as well."

For his part, Pena Nieto declined to get drawn into the current immigration debate in Washington, a top priority for Obama but one that is at a delicate stage in Congress. Asked to comment on the debate, the Mexican president merely said that the Mexican government acknowledged the efforts under way in Congress.

"Mexico understands that this is a domestic affair for the US and we wish you the best push that you're giving to immigration," he said.

Likewise, he demurred when asked to react to the failure in the Senate to pass gun control legislation, including an expanded background check for firearms buyers, even though many guns obtained illegally in the United States make their way into the hands of drug dealers in Mexico.

He said he agreed with Obama's campaign to stem gun violence, but added: "This is a domestic issue in the United States."

Obama vowed to keep pressing for gun legislation, saying: "We recognise we've got obligations when it comes to guns that are oftentimes being shipped down South and contributing to violence here in Mexico."


- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...