Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory, after U.S. state electors voted Monday to make Biden’s election official.
Speaking at his daily news conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, López Obrador told reporters he intentionally waited until after the Electoral College vote before writing Biden. The Mexican leader read the letter as it was displayed behind him, in which he called for good bilateral relations with the United States and the Biden administration “based on collaboration, friendship and respect for our sovereignty.”
López Obrador said he was certain that with Biden as president it will be possible to continue to apply “basic principles of foreign policy established in our Constitution; especially that of non-intervention and self-determination of the peoples.”
The comment appeared to be a warning about U.S. involvement in Mexico’s internal affairs. The Mexican government has reacted angrily to perceived slights and U.S. intervention in the country’s drug corruption problem.
The letter praised Biden’s pro-immigration stance, which López Obrador said he hoped would allow the two nations to “continue with the plan to promote the development and well-being of the communities of southeast Mexico and the countries of Central America.”
López Obrador said he hoped the two countries could work together “to build the definitive solution to migratory flows from and through Mexico to the United States.”
The Mexican president noted that he and Biden met about nine years ago when Biden was vice president and expressed hope that the two would be able to speak in the future.
Outgoing President Donald Trump met with López Obrador at the White House in July for talks on trade, the economy and immigration. The talks came days after a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal went into effect. Trump previously had made derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants and threatened trade tariffs. He called the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico “outstanding.”