Mexico City - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security chief John Kelly will visit Mexico on February 23 to reestablish "constructive" ties after a diplomatic crisis, Mexico's government said Wednesday.
Ties have been strained by US President Donald Trump's vow to crack down on migration from Mexico and revise trade relations.
The Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement that the two US officials would make a working visit aimed at building "a respectful, close and constructive relationship between the two countries."
During his election campaign, Trump branded immigrants from Mexico rapists and criminals.
His plan to build a wall along the countries' border to keep illegal immigrants out and make Mexico pay for it has enraged many Mexicans.
President Peņa Nieto has vowed Mexico will not pay for the wall. He cancelled a planned meeting with Trump in Washington last month and called for respectful relations.
Trump has also threatened to end Mexico's privileged trade relationship with the United States, blaming Mexico for the loss of American jobs.
Mexico is one of the countries most concerned by Trump's tough approach to foreign relations. It sends 80% of its exports to the United States - nearly $300 billion in goods in 2015. His stance has driven US-Mexican relations to their lowest point in decades.
In addition to demanding a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, Trump has also threatened to block remittances sent home by Mexican workers in the US.
Peņa Nieto vowed to defend Mexico's interests in the negotiations, which his economy minister said would start in May.
He said in January that Mexico would reach out to other countries to seek alternative trade accords.
The foreign ministry said the US visit was the result of the two presidents' agreement to launch a "dialogue" during a telephone conversation on January 27.
It said Tillerson and Kelly would meet with various Mexican officials and the agenda for the visit would be released in the coming days.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray met with Tillerson and Kelly last week in Washington. The US State Department said Tillerson and Videgaray had a "constructive" conversation about law enforcement, migration and security.
Videgaray told reporters afterwards: "The Mexican government will continue to work with a positive and constructive attitude to reach good agreements, as long as it is in an atmosphere of respect for Mexicans."Source: Yahoo News