WASHINGTON (MNS) — With a quick day trip to Mexico today, President George W. Bush hopes to strengthen his relationship with President Vicente Fox and lay the groundwork for later policy discussions.
‘‘The president has a very clear sense that we have a historic opportunity here to turn a new page in U.S.-Mexican relations,'' a senior White House official told reporters Thursday. ‘‘The payoff could be enormous over the years for both the United States and Mexico, and I think actually for the entire hemisphere if we can succeed in developing a true partnership with Mexico.''
The two presidents have met before, when Bush was governor of Texas. Taking their personal relationship one step further, Fox has invited Bush to meet his mother in his hometown of San Cristobal. Afterward the presidents will travel to Fox's ranch for a tour and meetings.
Leon Panetta, former White House chief of staff, who runs a policy institute in Monterey, thinks that the meeting with Fox's mother is a smart diplomatic move.