President Joe Biden plans to meet on July 12 at the White House with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who skipped the recent Summit of the Americas in protest of the U.S. not inviting Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the event.
The White House said Tuesday that Biden and Obrador will discuss issues such as food security, immigration, climate and security and shared economic interests.
Relations between the U.S. and Mexico were strained by the June summit that was supposed to be about unity among western hemisphere nations. Obrador said that the legitimacy of the gathering depended on all of the countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean being in attendance.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had previously defended the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela by saying, “We do not believe that dictators should be invited.”
The announcement of a bilateral meeting also comes as migration along the border between the U.S. and Mexico has been a persistent challenge for the Biden administration. On Monday, 50 migrants being smuggled into the U.S. died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, without air conditioning in the sweltering heat.