The White House recently opened its doors to greet Mexican President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto to Washington.
"This is a longstanding tradition," said President Obama. "We look forward to working with Mexico not only on regional issues, but also on global issues."
When Nieto takes office later this week, he will inherit a host of concerns that will require cooperation with President Obama and the American government. Issues such as drug violence, illegal immigration and economic and trade opportunities are hot topics in both countries.
Drug violence, which affects much of the border between the U.S. and Mexico where drugs are trafficked, will be their most immediate challenge. The outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon sought to reduce the influence of drug cartels by waging a war against them that cost around 60,000 lives over six years.
There is a better way, says Nieto.
"It is very clear that, after several years of this fight on drug trafficking, we have more drug consumption and drug use and drug trafficking. That means that we're not moving in the right direction. Things are not working."
Instead of legalizing drugs, he supports bringing nations in the region together to redefine the fight against drug trafficking.
Illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. will also be on the agenda, as Mr. Obama, Democrats and now many Republicans are calling for comprehensive immigration reform.
"Mexico has become not simply an important bilateral partner, but is today a very important multilateral, multinational leader on a whole range of issues from energy to climate change," - President Barack Obama.
1. What countries share a border with the U.S.?
2. What are some issues and challenges that the U.S. and Mexico share?
1. Why do you think President Obama invited Mr. Nieto to the White House even before he takes office?
2. What solution do you think the U.S. and Mexico should pursue to alleviate the problem of drug violence?
3. What role can Mexico play in stopping illegal immigration to the U.S.?