President Obama greeted President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico at the White House on Tuesday, congratulating him on his victory and noting it was a "long-standing tradition" for newly elected Mexican presidents to visit the White House.
“We meet early with the president of Mexico because it represents the close relationship between the U.S. and Mexico,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report. He was also joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Obama added that Vice President Biden would be attending his inauguration next month: “We only send the vice president to inaugurations if your county is at the very top of the list."
More from the pool report on Peña Nieto's translated remarks:
Perhaps most notably, Peña Nieto gave praise to Obama’s plan for immigration reform, and said he looked forward to continue working with U.S. officials to tackle the difficult issue of illegal immigration from Mexico.
“We fully support your proposal,” Peña Nieto said, adding: “We want to contribute. We want to be part of this.”
Peña Nieto also invited Obama to make a state visit to Mexico, and noted his country was hosting the 2013 North American Leaders Summit. Though the president made no promises, he hinted he’s interested in a future visit.
“Any excuses to go to Mexico,” he said, “I’m always game.”
(Photo Credit: Ron Sachs/UPI/Newscom)