US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken AFP

A U.S. delegation headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken is meeting Thursday (Oct. 5) with Mexican counterparts to discuss joint efforts to tackle migration flows and drug trafficking.

The high-level group includes also U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

They began their Thursday meetings in Mexico City's National Palace with Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO).

While precise points of the agenda were not previously released, officials in the U.S. government said the talks will address the most urgent issues and threats the two countries face.

Those issues, as expressed by AG Garldand, include drug smuggling and the recent flows of migrants that triggered a crisis on both sides of the border.

"Disrupting the violent cartels manufacturing and trafficking fentanyl will be at the top of that list," Garland said in a speech posted on social media.

In a conversation at the University of Texas at Austin hours before his arrival in Mexico City, Blinken acknowledged that the world is facing "the largest migration challenge of all times."

Since we've been keeping numbers on this, we haven't seen the kind of numbers we're seeing now – more than 100 million people on the move, displaced from their homes around the world. That exceeds by far anything we've seen since we've been keeping the numbers. In our own hemisphere, somewhere between 20 and 25 million people on the move," Blinken said.

"People (are) coming in through Latin America from parts far away from the United States, Uzbekistan, all coming towards Mexico and then coming toward the United States."

Blinken also referred to a sore issue in the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico which Mexican officials are pointing out as part of the topics for the meeting: the source of guns used during the violence spree in the current AMLO administration.

"We also have our share of responsibility. One of the things that drives that drug trade that comes here and hits us – and I want to say a word about that if I could – and that facilitates it is the influx of guns coming from the United States to Mexico. We have a responsibility to help them do something about that," Blinken said.

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