Mexican president congratulates Biden on presidential win

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his election win for the first time in a letter sent late Monday after the Electoral College certified the results.

The Mexican president announced on Tuesday that he sent the letter, which included a warning for Biden and the U.S. to avoid getting involved in Mexico’s domestic affairs, such as its drug corruption problems, The Associated Press reported

“We are certain that, with you as president of the United States, it will be possible to continue applying the basic principles of foreign policy contained in the [Mexican] constitution, especially non-intervention and the right to self-determination,” the letter said.

López Obrador, who has had a friendly relationship with President Trump, noted that Mexico would continue to be open to act as a buffer for migrant groups seeking entry into the U.S. — a role the country increasingly took on during the Trump administration. 

“I also want to express my recognition of your stance in favor of migrants from Mexico and the rest of the world, which will allow us to continue with plans to promote development and welfare in southeastern Mexico and the countries of Central America,” he wrote, according to the AP.

“I believe that this way, nobody will be forced to leave the land of their birth, and they will be able to live, work and be happy with their family and among their people and their culture,” he said. “In this way, we can create a definitive solution to migratory flows from and through Mexico toward the United States.”

The Mexican president said he first met the president-elect about nine years ago when Biden was vice president and said he hoped to speak to him again soon in the future. 

López Obrador’s recognition of the election results leaves Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a Trump ally, as the only leader of a major Latin American economy not to acknowledge Biden’s win. 

López Obrador had previously held off from congratulating Biden although he was widely acknowledged to be the president-elect for more than a month. 

As most world leaders congratulated the former vice president at the time, López Obrador withheld his recognition, saying he would wait “until the electoral process is over.”

“With regard to the U.S. election, we are going to wait until all the legal matters have been resolved,” he said, according to Reuters. “I can’t congratulate one candidate or the other. I want to wait until the electoral process is over.”

Later in November, the Mexican president stood his ground saying, “We do not agree with offering congratulations in advance. What’s the best thing? For us to wait.”

But the Electoral College’s certification of the results prompted more world leaders and Republicans to accept Biden as the president-elect. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and several other top Republican senators have acknowledged Biden as the incoming president since the certification.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also delayed recognizing Biden as the election winner, congratulated the president-elect on Tuesday following the Electoral College confirmation.

The Electoral College vote is usually largely ceremonial. But since Trump has refused to concede and has levied several legal battles alleging widespread voter fraud without evidence, more eyes than usual were on the electors.

Tags 2020 election 2020 election results 2020 presidential eleciton Andrés Manuel López Obrador Donald Trump Electoral College Joe Biden Mexico Mitch McConnell President-elect Vladimir Putin
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