U.S. President Barack Obama and his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon have pledged greater cooperation in fighting the global economic crisis, climate change, and Mexico's drug war.
During a welcoming ceremony after Mr. Obama's arrival in Mexico City Thursday, ahead of talks, both leaders said they will work to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Mexico.
Mr. Obama praised Mexico's efforts to take on the drug cartels and said the United States will do its part to prevent the flow of guns and cash over the border. He is expected to announce his support for an arms trafficking pact after talks with Mr. Calderon.
The escalating drug violence in Mexico is of great concern to the United States. The violence has killed more than 7,000 people in Mexico since the beginning of last year, and the violence is spilling over into border communities in the U.S.
News reports Thursday said at least 16 people died in a shootout Wednesday ahead of Mr. Obama's arrival. The reports said the clashes were between soldiers and suspected drug traffickers in the southern state of Guerrero.
After his talks in Mexico, Mr. Obama will travel to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas, where confronting the economic downturn is expected to be high on the agenda of hemispheric leaders.