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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                       June 8, 1998


The President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, and the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, met today in New York City.

During their conversation, both Presidents expressed their satisfaction regarding the convening of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Illicit Drugs. They agreed with the comprehensive approach to deal with the problem of drugs based on the principle of shared responsibility on the part of all nations.

The Presidents of Mexico and the United States reviewed the many improvements that have taken place in the bilateral relationship. Trade was among the specific topics discussed. They noted that the increase in the bilateral trade of goods and services has been remarkable. In this regard, the Presidents agreed to seek solutions to pending disagreements in the trade agenda, in order to further eliminate obstacles to the free flow of goods and services between both countries.

Regarding migration issues, both Presidents underscored the priority that their governments give to the protection of the human rights of migrants and to a safe and orderly border. They agreed to continue broadening and strengthening specific measures to achieve these objectives.

President Clinton praised the courageous efforts of the Mexican people in fighting the recent forest fires in their country. President Zedillo conveyed appreciation for the assistance provided by the United States Government in this endeavor.

Bilateral cooperation against drug trafficking was given special consideration. The Presidents underscored the importance of combating all drug trafficking, in conformity with the laws in each country. They noted that this objective is best accomplished through improved cooperation and mutual trust, with full respect for the sovereignty of both nations. They agreed to strengthen mechanisms in their countries to deal with anti-drug and money laundering efforts, and to improve cooperation, communication and information exchange between both governments.

The Presidents reaffirmed their governments' commitment to further the objectives and fully comply with the principles stated in the "Declaration of the Alliance against Drugs", which both signed in Mexico City, in May 1997. They therefore welcomed and endorsed agreement between Attorneys General Reno and Madrazo to develop a process for improved consultation and collaboration on law enforcement operations of mutual interest and avoid actions that could have undesirable effects on the bilateral relationship, and through this process strengthen that relationship. The U.S. and Mexican Attorneys General working in consultation with their respective Treasury and Hacienda officials will intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute narcotics trafficking and money laundering networks. They also will determine additional measures, such as regulations, enforcement techniques and actions, that should be taken in their own countries to deter organized crime, drug trafficking and money laundering in the future. The two Attorneys General will meet again in the days to come to define the common agenda.

Presidents Zedillo and Clinton reaffirmed their commitment to continue to work together in all aspects of the bilateral agenda and to further pursue the mature relationship and the friendship that is vital for the well-being of both peoples.

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