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The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is heading  up a delegation of senior Trump administration officials to Mexico, where they will be hoping to make in-roads on key topics such as immigration, trade, and security. Pompeo recently returned to the US empty-handed from North Korea after Kim Jong Un failed to attend the State Secretary’s latest trip to Pyongyang, opting to visit a potato farm instead, and Pompeo is now refocusing delegation talks to the new Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Key quotes

“At a time of heightened tensions between the two neighbors, Pompeo will lead a high-level delegation composed of Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. They aim to build on Trump’s phone call with Lopez Obrador on July 2, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.

“The whole goal of Secretary Pompeo’s trip is to advance that positive agenda and to work with the Mexican government across all of the issue areas where we can make progress on,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The delegation will also meet with Mexico’s current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray to discuss the transition of power, trade, migration and border issues, the official told reporters on a conference call. Lopez Obrador takes office on Dec. 1.

Mnuchin told Congress on Thursday that the renegotiation of Nafta was a big priority for the administration now that Mexico’s election was over.  The State Department official said Friday’s talks were about “the strength and importance of our ongoing cooperation” with Mexico.

Despite assurances of cooperation by the Trump administration, experts cautioned that Lopez Obrador and Trump are both nationalists, which could further strain ties.”