the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by President Calderón of Mexico at Official Arrival Ceremony

South Lawn

His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Mrs. Michelle Obama;
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I appreciate the kind invitation of President Barack Obama to carry out this State Visit.  Mexico and the United States…. We are friend and partner nations; nations that work together and trade… And that complement each other economically; nations that dialogue and that are intertwined by geography and history. 

As you pointed out Mr. President, while in Mexico, “what makes us good neighbors is a simple truth: our peoples share way beyond our common challenges and interests.”  Indeed, we also share common values and principles such as freedom, justice, legality and democracy.

Today, Mexicans and Americans share a decisive moment for our respective countries.  We face common challenges of great magnitude: organized crime, economic crisis, climate change, migration.  These monumental challenges place us at a crossroads:  either we return to mutual recrimination, which has been so useless and so damaging in previous times, or we face and overcome these challenges together, and from there, we begin a new chapter of shared prosperity.

This is the choice: look toward the future, and begin a new era in the strategic partnership between the United States and Mexico based upon shared responsibility.

I am sure that by working with shared responsibility, our governments will be able to open new paths for a more secure, more sustainable, more competitive and more prosperous North America.

We can do it if together we face and combat transnational organized crime. This is our common enemy and the greatest threat to our peoples.

We can do it if together we support a new model for economic development, in harmony with the environment.

We can do it if we know how to make the most of how our two economies complement each other. If we take advantage of our trade and integration to create more and better jobs in both countries. If we can work together to encourage the successful integration of the Mexican-American and Latino communities in this country. We will do it, if we know how to add up our strengths to make North America the most competitive and prosperous region in the world.

We can make it, if we continue building a safer border and if we transform it in a border that does not divide our peoples, in a land of opportunities and progress.  We can make it, if we develop a comprehensive, fair and long term solution to the challenges that migration currently poses.  I know that we share the interest in promoting dignified, legal and orderly living conditions to all migrant workers.  Many of them, despite their significant contribution to the economy and to the society of the United States, still live in the shadows and, occasionally, as in Arizona, they even face discrimination.

Divided we cannot overcome these enormous challenges.  A prosperous North America that  benefits both Americans and Mexicans is only feasible if we work shoulder to shoulder, and if we confront these challenges decisively and courageously.

Mr. President,

I come today to seal the pact of friendship that a year ago you offered to Mexico and to the Mexican people.  Mexicans and Americans, we are faced with major common problems and challenges, but at the same time, we have the possibility of shared success in the horizon.

Can we overcome these challenges? Can we build that future of prosperity we want for our people?  Yes we can, if we work together.

Thank You Mr. President for your kind invitation.

END