Mexico–US Relations
H.E. Arturo Sarukhan, Ambassador of Mexico to the US
Mary Beth Sheridan (Moderator), Diplomatic Correspondent for The Washington Post
Photos | Transcript

Washington, DC—On April 20, 2009, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan hosted an Embassy Series event at his residence in Washington, DC for WFPG members and friends. The event included a reception and program on US-Mexico Relations, which was moderated by Mary Beth Sheridan, Diplomatic Correspondent for The Washington Post. Ambassador Sarukhan spoke about the continued importance of US-Mexico relations and how Mexico and the rest of Latin America are integral to the continued presence of the US as a global and regional power. The Ambassador stressed the role of the US as an “indispensable nation” in the hemisphere and emphasized the need for the new Administration to liberalize free trade with Latin America. He expressed hope that the Obama Administration would shift the current paradigm toward a fresh course for inter-American relations.

In speaking of US policy towards the region, Ambassador Sarukhan noted the generally accepted “three D’s” – defense, diplomacy, and development – of American foreign relations. He stated that he would add a fourth D for democracy and explained his hope that liberal democracy in particular would gain traction in the region because it is “concerned with setting limits to . . . power.” He added that, given the history of the region, the predominant struggle in Latin America is in establishing liberal democracies with majority rule and minority rights that can sustain economic growth while ensuring human rights.

Ambassador Sarukhan also highlighted five strategic drivers of the US-Mexico bilateral relationship: (1) security, (2) the matching of common security and common prosperity, (3) the nexus between energy efficiency, energy security and environmental policy, (4) economic growth coupled with social wellbeing, and (5) US-Mexican engagement on global and regional issues.

Moderator Mary Beth Sheridan and the Ambassador discussed the shifting paradigm of bilateral relations with the US and how Mexico plans to confront its current challenges, including drug violence, immigration, and development. The Ambassador commented on the significant difference between the diplomatic climates of the Bush and Obama Administrations and was optimistic that the current Administration would be more successful at reaching out to Latin America. He also described the changing demographic and economic face of Mexico and asserted that the development of infrastructure is the key to the country’s economic success. He stressed the important role that the US, as its largest trading partner, has to play in Mexico’s development.


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Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan of Mexico


Mary Beth Sheridan, Diplomatic Correspondent,
The Washington Post, with Ambassador Sarukhan

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WFPG Board Member Diana Villiers Negroponte
introducing Ambassador Sarukhan

  Mary Beth Sheridan, Ambassador Sarukhan, and
WFPG President Patricia Ellis

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WFPG Members and Guests listening to
Ambassador Sarukhan's remarks

  Patricia Ellis, WFPG Board Secretary Donna
Constantinople, Vernica Valencia (wife of the
Ambassador), WFPG Board Vice Chair Gail
Leftwich Kitch, Ambassador Sarukhan, and WFPG Board
Member Diana Villiers Negroponte

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Vicky and Ken Wilson speaking with
WFPG Board Secretary Donna Constantinople
and Ambassador Sarukhan during reception

  Donna Constantinople during the Q&A

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Ambassador Sarukhan and Patricia Ellis

  Linda Robinson of U.S. News & World Report
with Ambassador Sarukhan and Mary Beth Sheridan

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Ambassador Sarukhan greets Lynn Holec of ITR LLC

  Patricia Ellis, Diana Villiers Negroponte, and
Graziella Reyes of the Permanent Mission of
Uruguay to the OAS