Mexico president urges North American integration after Brexit
June 27, 2016
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (L) shakes hands with the Governor General of Canada David Johnston at the La Citadelle official residence in Quebec, on June 27, 2016 (AFP Photo/)More
Ottawa (AFP) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday called for greater integration with Canada and the United States in the wake of Britain's vote to split with the European Union.
Nieto, who spoke during a stopover in Quebec City, is scheduled to attend a North American leaders summit in Ottawa on Wednesday with his US and Canadian counterparts.
The three countries are economic partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and work closely on security matters.
At Wednesday's summit, the leaders are expected to announce joint energy and environmental strategies, including matching renewable energy targets.
"The purpose of this visit is to renew our bilateral relationship, to give it new life, to find ways to advance the prosperity and competitiveness of North America," Pena Nieto said.
"I think what is happening elsewhere in the world invites us to strengthen our strategic alliance and especially to be much more inclusive," he said in response to questions about the so-called Brexit decision.
Britain's shocking vote to quit the European Union has abruptly shoved itself onto the summit agenda.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama had both called on Britain to stay in the EU.
The Brexit decision has roiled financial markets and triggered deep uncertainty over how the divorce will play out, in Europe and elsewhere.
Pena Nieto is scheduled to dine with Trudeau in Toronto in the evening before the pair head to Ottawa to meet with Obama on Wednesday.
On the first day of his state visit, Pena Nieto also signaled Mexico's intention to join a fledgling continental carbon market with Quebec, Ontario and the US state of California.
He is also expected to announce matching cuts to US methane emissions, which Canada agreed to in March.