MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Lopez Obrador, who is fighting domestic criticism over his trade-related trip to the United States, has said he would uphold the dignity of his nation and assert its strength when he meets his US counterpart Donald Trump in Washington.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in a video message on Twitter, said: “I am going to represent you and have no doubt, I will do as you all deserve, with decorum and lot of dignity, asserting the strength of our great nation, Mexico.”
“The purpose of the trip is the free trade agreement (between the US, Canada, and Mexico).”
The agreement came into force on July 1.
“It is a great agreement, very timely because this will allow reactivation of the economy in our country,” the president said.
He said it would ensure that jobs were generated and the wellbeing of the people was maintained.
The president shared the message on the occasion of the Independence Day of the United States.
“On this memorable day, we extend greetings and felicitations to the people of the United States, to our neighbors, and their government,” said Lopez Obrador, who has always asserted the role of Mexican migrants in the US territory.
The visit, which will take place between July 8-9, will be Lopez Obrador’s first trip since taking office in 2018. He would also be meeting Trump for the first time since assuming the office.
The meeting has raised suspicions in Mexico over fears that Trump might use the gathering as his electoral campaign in his favor and assert the construction of the border wall.
During the week, Lopez Obrador has responded to these concerns and assured that he was not a sellout and the politics meant taking risks.
Although the visit aims to commemorate the start of the free trade agreement between the three countries that replaces the previous North American Free Trade Agreement, the Mexican leader did not exclude the possibility of discussing other matters.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also invited to the meeting but he has not confirmed his participation.
Lopez Obrador, who is seeking to keep the visit short, will not meet with the representative of the Mexican community in the US as well as the leaders of the country.
The president, who promised to sell his presidential jet, is set to travel to Washington in a commercial flight with Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, Economy Minister Graciela Marquez, and presidential Chief-of-Staff Alfonso Romo.
During the term of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the relation with Donald Trump was marked with the continuous seesaw of tensions, thaw in relations, and numerous plans of canceled meetings.
The dynamic has contrasted near-absolute absence of clashes between the two in the past year and a half after Obrador came into power.