Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03091241 (posted Sep. 12, 2003)"
Interview on Mexico's Televisa with Gregorio
Secretary Colin L. Powell
MR. MERAZ: Mr. Secretary, Colin Powell, first of all, thank
you for your time. During the last months there have been some differences
between Mexico and U.S. in the Security Council because of different
Do you believe those differences are affecting the
bilateral relation and cooperation of both
SECRETARY POWELL: Not now, no. Clearly we were
disappointed in Mexico's position earlier in the year when we were working on a
second resolution with respect to Iraq. But we never broke contact. I always
stayed in touch with Minister Derbez, and as you know, he was here earlier this
week, and we had good conversations and we reviewed the current situation in
I hope that Mexico will be able to support us on
this new resolution, and Minister Derbez certainly indicated that he looked
forward to working with us and any changes Mexico might have, we will certainly
take into account. And I hope that his representative in New York will also view
the discussions in a positive light, so we stay in
Disagreements come among friends, but then
friends make those disagreements go away.
MR. MERAZ: Before
September 11, President Bush and President Fox used to keep in touch by
telephone or some other means. Recently, it seems like there is not this often
this good communication. Do you think in some way they will continue that
communication? Do they plan to meet, maybe, in the nearly
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I think there will be
opportunities for them to meet in the course of the next several months at
international gatherings and I'm sure that President Bush would look forward to
an opportunity to speak to President Fox. But I must reiterate that even though
Mexico and the United States will always be friends and partners, there was a
high level of disappointment in that Mexico did not find it possible to support
us on the second Iraq resolution.
Nevertheless, we felt it was important
for us to move. We have now liberated Iraq, and we all have to move forward, not
live in the past. So now is the time for all members of the Security Council to
join in in helping the people of Iraq to rebuild their country and to build a
better life for their children.
MR. MERAZ: Mexico's
government still insisting in the possibility of getting an immigration
agreement. Do you think that they maybe also have to lobby in the Congress to
get, first of all, the initiatives, the approval, and then with the support of
the White House maybe can get it?
SECRETARY POWELL: We are
always looking for ways to satisfy Mexicans' concerns and our concerns with
respect to immigration.
To get a large overarching,
comprehensive, omnibus immigration law now would be very, very difficult. In the
post-9/11 period, we had to essentially stop and see how we can protect our
borders, although, you know, we were not worried about Mexican terrorists, ever,
but nevertheless, our borders were very open.
And so that created a
reaction, as you would expect, among the American people, and the Congress said,
"Hey, let's figure out who comes into the country and when do they leave?" So
that slowed us down.
Right now, Minister Derbez and I are looking at,
what can we do in the very near future that will show progress that will show
that both of our Presidents and both of our countries, both of our governments
are still committed to immigration reform?
I encourage Mexican officials,
when they come to the United States, to go see our Congress, tell our Congress
what your concerns are with respect to immigration. That's part of our
MR. MERAZ: Are you satisfied with the
cooperation of Mexico in the border security and in the struggle against drug
smuggling, human smuggling?
SECRETARY POWELL: Mexico has
done a lot on the drug smuggling and human smuggling, and I congratulate
President Fox and his administration -- a very aggressive approach. And we have
done a lot on border security, especially since, you know, 9/11 of two years
ago. And I know that Secretary Ridge, our Secretary of Homeland Security works
very closely with his Mexican colleagues and we're pleased with the progress
that they have made.
MR. MERAZ: Mr. Secretary, we know you
have many things to do and we appreciate the opportunity to talk to
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very
MR. MERAZ: Thank you,
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank
Released on September 12, 2003