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North American foreign ministers discuss security challenges

English.news.cn   2010-12-14 06:35:36 FeedbackPrintRSS

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (Front) arrives for the meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa of Mexico in Wakefield, Quebec of Canada, Dec. 13, 2010. Foreign Ministers of Canada, the United States and Mexico met Monday in Wakefield to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues. (Xinhua/Christopher Pike)

WAKEFIELD, Canada, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The foreign ministers of the United States, Mexico and Canada said here on Monday that they need to make joint efforts to address the security challenges in the region.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon hosted the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa for a half-day annual meeting at the picturesque Wakefield Mill Inn in the tiny resort village of Wakefield, Quebec, about 35 kilometers north of Ottawa.

"My colleagues and I had a substantive discussion this morning regarding continental and regional security, and ways in which we can jointly address the challenges in our region," Cannon said.

At a press conference following the meeting, Cannon said that he and his colleagues reaffirmed their governments' commitments to trilateral cooperation and coordination in this area, such as the commitment to combating transnational criminal organizations.

Regarding the creation of a North American security perimeter, Clinton told reporters that U.S.-Canada border security is a " bilateral issue, so it's not surprising that it was not on the agenda" of Monday's meeting.

She said the United States will try to create a border that protects Americans and Canadians but enables the ongoing interaction between the two neighboring countries.

Canadian media reported last week on a draft agreement showing Canada and the United States intend to establish a "Beyond the Border Working Group" of officials to "pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at and away from the borders of our two countries."

The perimeter will be set in a way that supports economic competitiveness, job creation and prosperity, and in a partnership to enhance security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods between the two countries, the reports added.

Canadian and U.S. companies, especially in the automobile manufacturing sector, complain that the security forces at the Canada-U.S. border have slowed down the movement of car parts.

Some factories have had to abandon "just in time" manufacturing and have had to build warehouses to hold parts.

Editor: yan

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