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Secretary Kerry's and Mexican Foreign Secretary Meade's Remarks, April 2013

Speakers: John F. Kerry, and Jose Antonio Meade
Published April 19, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade gave these remarks and answered questions after their meeting on April 19, 2013.

Excerpt from the questions:

"MS. PSAKI: The next question will come from Jose Lopez Zamorano from Notimex.

QUESTION: Thank you. Secretary Meade, the Mexican government has expressed its interest in broadening the agenda with the U.S. beyond security issues. In that regard, and due to the upcoming visit of President Obama to Mexico, what kind of new initiatives or programs can we expect along the road?

And Secretary Kerry, after 9/11 attacks, obviously security became center stage for the U.S., but at the same time some countries in Latin America saw that the relationship with them was put in the back burner for several years. Do you anticipate that this event in Boston could derail your intent, express intent, to reach out to the region?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MEADE: We have agreed to enlarge our agenda and we are going to be talking about initiatives that have to do with high-level engagement in terms of an economic dialogue. We will be talking and we will find a mechanism to continue to talk in terms of education and research and innovation. So those issues and a structure around them will be center point in the agendas and the talks and issues discussed by President Obama and President Peña Nieto.

SECRETARY KERRY: The answer is profoundly yes, we do intend – I intend to personally. And in fact, I had intended to try to travel to the region next week, but because of the events this week and because of some other things happening, I've had to postpone that just temporarily. And I mean temporarily. I will be getting to the region very shortly. President Obama is traveling to the region. President Obama feels very strongly and has asked me to focus on how we can strengthen our economic partnerships in Latin America and Central America, and I intend to do that.

We talked today – I think the beginning of our conversation today, the very first thing out of my mouth was we don't want to define this relationship with Mexico or with other countries in the context of security or counternarcotics trafficking. We want to define it much larger in the context of our citizens' economic needs and our capacity to do more on the economic frontier. I am convinced we're going to growth that relationship.

In terms of jobs, we talked about ways to link up perhaps ultimately with the Transatlantic Investment Trade and Partnership Program. In the long run it may be possible to find ways to strengthen both of us through those kinds of initiatives. And of course, Mexico is a partner in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. So we are already growing this relationship. We're going to continue to grow it. I think it needs to be, frankly, the defining issue of our relationship together with our commitment to democracy and human rights."

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