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U.S., Mexico leaders sign bilateral cooperation agreements

U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to the White House on Wednesday.

The two leaders signed cooperation agreements following talks in Washington.

Trump, who has denigrated Mexican migrants and threatened the U.S. ally with crippling tariffs, welcomed Lopez Obrador with lofty language and he called America’s southern neighbor a cherished partner.

Trump said the countries’ economic and security relationship was reaching new heights.

The meeting  was billed as a celebration of economic ties and the new North American trade agreement, but critics in Mexico worry their leader is being used a political pawn to bolster Trump’s reelection effort.

Lopez Obrador began his first foreign trip as president with stops at the Lincoln Memorial and a statue of Benito Juarez, a former Mexican president and national hero.

Substantive talks were to begin in the afternoon at the White House, followed by a working dinner that was also to include business leaders.