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US, Mexican Presidents to Meet on Drug Crime


U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon are expected to meet in Washington next week to talk about drug gangs and related violence.

A White House statement Saturday says Mr. Bush will welcome President Calderon to the White House on Tuesday.

The statement says the leaders will discuss their countries' joint effort to battle organized crime.

They are also expected to discuss the Merida Initiative. The initiative is joint effort to fight cross-border crimes, such as drug-trafficking and gang violence.

Mexico and the United States held high-level talks during an inaugural meeting of the Merida Initiative in December. Last month, the United States also released the first part of a $465 million aid package to support Mexico's fight against drug cartels.

About 4,000 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, despite President Calderon's deployment of 36,000 troops throughout the country to battle drug gangs.

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