US President Joe Biden and his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will meet on November 17 in San Francisco to discuss the fentanyl and migration crises that span their shared border, AFP reported.
The talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) regional summit come as the two issues promise to weigh heavily in next year's US election, where Biden is seeking a second term.
The two leaders "will talk on a range of issues, including migration, cooperation on the scourge of fentanyl trafficking, strengthening our incredibly vibrant economic cooperation with Mexico and building broad cooperation on a whole host of issues," said Brian Nichols, the top diplomat for USA for Latin America.
Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena agreed that one of the central topics will be the trafficking of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that has killed tens of thousands of people in the United States.
The two presidents last met in January during the summit of North American leaders in Mexico. López Obrador often avoids international meetings.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged at a historic, de-escalating summit with Biden in San Francisco to crack down on China's production of fentanyl ingredients as the drug continues to flood the United States.
But Washington will now push Mexico to close the loop and do more against the production of the drug, which US officials say is produced by Mexican cartels.
The López Obrador administration denies the allegations and says it all came from Asia.
The Mexican president also touched on the issue in his meeting with Xi in his first face-to-face talks with the Chinese leader.
Lopez Obrador "underscored the importance of reaching an agreement to exchange information on shipments leaving Asia," his foreign ministry said in a statement after the meeting. /BGNES