WASHINGTON -- President Obama is scheduled to travel to Mexico and Costa Rica in early May to push for stronger economic ties, the White House announced Wednesday.
In trip scheduled for May 2-4, Obama will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was elected last year and took office in December. He last met with Obama at the White House in November.
From there, Obama will head to Costa Rica, where President Laura Chinchilla will host a meeting of several Central American leaders. The White House did not release a list of the participating countries or a detailed description of the agenda. The visit will come as Congress is expected to begin debate on immigration legislation.
Obama said he hoped the visit would strengthen cooperation on a variety of issues.
“I’m looking forward to having a couple of days of important consultations and emphasizing, underscoring, how important it is for us within this Western Hemisphere to be able to strengthen our economic ties,” Obama told the Spanish-language network Telemundo in an interview released Wednesday. “Because that will be good for all the parties concerned. They’ll have a greater chance of success and opportunity.
“And when you have more opportunity, more success, it solves a lot of these other problems. You start seeing lower rates of crime and drug violence. You start seeing fewer problems with respect to undocumented immigration, because people have opportunities in their own countries. So we want to make sure that we’re pushing forward that positive agenda.”
Obama last traveled to Mexico for the G-20 summit in June. He visited Central America in March 2011.