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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release August 24, 2000

     Today I was honored to host President-elect Vicente Fox of Mexico

at my home for a very productive meeting to discuss the wide range of issues of interest to the United States and Mexico. I agree with Mr. Fox that Mexico is a vital strategic partner of the United States, and our deepening relationship must be based on mutual interest and respect. Mr. Fox expressed a strong commitment to promote democracy, economic growth and human rights throughout the hemisphere, and in making common cause with us in combating corruption, illicit drugs and other transnational threats. I am confident President-elect Fox will be a strong partner of the United States in the years to come.

During our conversation, I discussed my intention to deliver a speech on a Western Hemispheric Community of Democracies, a vision I first articulated in December 1993 in Mexico City and which builds upon the accomplishments of the Clinton-Gore Administration during the past eight years. This vision, in the tradition of President Kennedy's Alliance for Progress, involves strengthening ties between all North and South American democracies to enable us to secure the benefits of greater integration by improving economic stability and the standard of living of all our peoples, and to more effectively combat transnational threats to our security and well-being.

I also discussed with President-elect Fox ways to dramatically improve the way government operates and delivers customer services more effectively to its citizens. I was pleased to hear first-hand how President-elect Fox has taken actions that benefited from our successful experiences in the United States. We also discussed lessons learned in combating international crime in the context of the Global Forum on Fighting Corruption, which I was proud to host in 1999. I offered to continue sharing our experience and expertise in these areas with the new Mexican government.