Biden and Mexican president talk migration, coronavirus on first call

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he and U.S. President Joe Biden discussed migration, the coronavirus pandemic and cooperation on development on Friday during their first phone call since the American took office this week.

The presidents' afternoon call was "pleasant and respectful" and everything indicated that relations between Mexico and the United States would be good, and to the benefit of both nations, Lopez Obrador said in a brief post on Twitter.

Mexico has an important role to play in Biden's plans for immigration reform. Last week it helped coordinate efforts in Central America to contain a caravan of some 8,000 migrants seeking to reach the United States.

However, Biden's inauguration comes during a time of unusual friction between the neighboring countries, with the Mexican government issuing sustained criticism of a now-dropped U.S. investigation into former Mexican defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos.

Earlier on Friday, Lopez Obrador said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) should carry out an internal probe into how it built its case against Cienfuegos, putting further strain on bilateral ties.

The October arrest of Cienfuegos in Los Angeles on drug charges ruffled feathers in Mexico, which retaliated by imposing restrictions on DEA intelligence gathering.

Lopez Obrador then angered Washington by making public a large dossier relating to the case that the United States had provided in confidence.

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