Biden, Mexican president discuss immigration, summit relations
WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday called for the United States to address the crisis of illegal immigration, and for the world to embrace the principles of peace instead of war, while discussing the importance of maintaining stability in the region.
Speaking to an audience of hundreds gathered at George Mason University, Biden and Nieto discussed the challenges Mexico faces in rebuilding its economy following the country’s 2016 economic collapse.
The meeting came as both nations were preparing for the first-ever Summit of the Americas, which took place in Lima in Peru this week.
During the event, Biden said the United States was on the “front line” of the migrant and refugee crisis that has sparked fears and tensions throughout the region.
“We are not going to be divided,” Biden said.
Nieto, meanwhile, called for a new chapter for two nations beset by violence and poverty — the border region as well as the central and eastern regions of Mexico.
“There is a common responsibility to stop violence and to take our destiny in our hands,” said Nieto, who faces a presidential election next year. “If we don’t, we are going to have a very bad future.”
Nieto said he and Biden agreed the United States and Mexico should continue work on a “convened dialogue” over the region’s many issues.
Biden said “we will never apologize for standing on the shores of the world’s most important ocean” and urged the leaders to “reestablish and rebuild the very foundation of a new relationship.”
“The world is changing. People are looking for a new relationship, looking for stability and for a new beginning with America. This is not a partnership of convenience,” he said.
Nieto also urged the world to embrace the principle of “peace over war.”
“War is not a strategy but a tactic,” he added.
Biden and Nieto also discussed the need to avoid the kind of conflict which has rocked the region since the 1980s