MEXICO CITY – Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador appears to be sharing at least a brief honeymoon period with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray on Wednesday noted the affectionate relationship that eluded current President Enrique Pena Nieto, but which Lopez Obrador has apparently built with Trump.
"We view with enthusiasm and pleasure the good relationship that the future government of Mexico is building with the United States," Videgaray said. "A good relationship between Mexico and the United States is something we will always celebrate."
In January 2017, Pena Nieto was forced to cancel his first planned official meeting with Trump because the U.S. president insisted on talking about building a border wall and having Mexico pay for it. Since then, the relationship has often been awkward and rocky.
But since Lopez Obrador won a crushing victory in Mexico's July 1 elections — he is expected to take office Dec. 1 — the exchanges with Trump have been full of mutual praise.
Last week, Lopez Obrador sent a warm letter to Trump, saying, "I am encouraged by the fact that we both know how to live up to our word, and we have both successfully overcome adversity," Lopez Obrador wrote. "We both managed to put our voters and citizens at center stage, and displace the establishment and dominant regime."
On Tuesday, Lopez Obrador released a letter in which Trump responded, "We both achieved electoral success by providing a clear vision for making our countries stronger and better."
Trump also at least party endorsed Lopez Obrador's idea of development aid for Central America as a way to stem immigration.
"Like you, I believe that meeting the challenge of illegal immigration involves more than just strong border security," Trump wrote. "We are prepared to further address the economic development and security issues that drive migration from Central America, but we must also increase cooperation to protect the rule of law and sovereignty of both our countries."