(Trends Wide) — Members of President Joe Biden’s cabinet who will meet with Mexican authorities on Friday will discuss how to establish a new security agreement that updates the Merida Initiative, a 2008 US $ 3 billion pact that aimed to fight against the trafficking of drugs and organized crime, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.
“As for Mérida, this is an initiative that has been in place for 13 years,” Price told reporters during a briefing. “We think it is time for the bilateral security treaties to be reviewed. We need an approach that addresses the concerns and priorities of both governments, and this will be one of the main elements in the talks tomorrow,” he explained.
The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will travel to Mexico on Friday with his National Security counterpart, Alejandro Mayorkas, and with the Secretary of Justice, Merrick Garland, for what the United States describes as the first high-level security dialogue between the two countries.
Price said the United States hopes to preserve the “important achievements” of the Merida Initiative. Although he said it is not yet clear what form the new security agreement will take, the United States wants it to respond to evolving threats.
“We want to ensure that these achievements are sustained, that cooperation deepens, and that we have an up-to-date approach that takes into account current threats and those that have evolved over the 15 years that Mérida has been in effect.” Price said.
A senior administration official said the approach to security would be “balanced and sustainable”, not limited to security challenges but to the factors that create them. He further said that Mayorkas was committed to a “humane approach to migration management.”
The new agreement “will allow us to learn from each other’s prevention strategies, and will also allow us to jointly set law enforcement priorities, including with respect to trafficking and firearms, illegal narcotics, trafficking and drug trafficking. people smuggling, criminal extraditions and money laundering and illicit finance, “said another official.