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Mexico President-Elect Writes to Trump About Migration, NAFTA


Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, right, flanked by his future foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, speaks to the press outside party headquarters in Mexico City, Mexico, July 22, 2018.

Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking to initiate "a new stage in the relationship" of the two countries and to make progress in the areas of "trade, migration, development and security."

Lopez Obrador handed the seven-page letter to a U.S. delegation that visited the country on July 13.

Marcelo Ebrard, foreign minister-designate, read the letter to reporters on Sunday, and said Trump had received the letter.

In the letter, Lopez Obrador said Mexico is home to the largest number of Americans living outside the U.S. and "the United States is the largest home for Mexicans outside of our borders."

"I believe that the understanding that I propose in this letter should lead us to a worthy and respectful treatment of these communities," he said.

Lopez Obrador suggested creating a development plan that included other Central American countries, where migrants also live in poverty and lack job opportunities.

He suggested that if the U.S., Mexico and other Central American countries, "each one contributing according to the size of its economy. ... We could gather a considerable amount of resources for the development of the region."

The plan, according to the president-elect, would spend 75 percent of its funds on "projects to create jobs and fight poverty" and 25 percent on border control and security.

"In this way, I reiterate, we would be addressing the causes that originate the migration phenomenon," he said in the letter.

Lopez Obrador said his government hopes to improve the economy and security of the country "to ensure that Mexicans do not have to migrate because of poverty or violence."

He also urged that the U.S., Mexico and Canada resume North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

“Prolonging the uncertainty could slow down investments in the medium and long-term,” he said.

Lopez Obrador, who won the nation's presidential election on July 1, will take office in December.

He also used his letter to explain some of his government's plans, such as public investment and development in the agricultural, energy, education, cultural and health sectors.

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