The Mexican president is not going to congratulate Biden till the authorized points are resolved

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his second State of the Union Address at the National Palace in Mexico City

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By Anthony Esposito and Dave Graham (NYSE 🙂

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Saturday he would not congratulate a winner in the US presidential election until legal challenges are over, to avoid friction with Washington during the transition.

Democrat Joe Biden won the election Saturday after a victory in the battlefield state of Pennsylvania brought him over the 270-vote threshold for Electoral College.

Mexico is the United States’s main trading partner, with over $ 600 billion in annual two-way trade, and Mexico’s bilateral relations with its northern neighbor are by far the most important.

“With regard to the US elections, we will wait until all legal issues have been resolved,” Lopez Obrador said at a press conference.

“I cannot congratulate one or the other candidate. I would like to wait until the election process is over.”

Republican President Donald Trump has filed a number of lawsuits to challenge the results. However, election officials in states across the country say there is no evidence of significant fraud, and legal experts say Trump’s efforts are unlikely to be successful.

The Mexican president combined his caution with his own allegations of fraud in two presidential elections, which he contested in 2006 and 2012, before winning his third bid in 2018.

His reluctance to comment on the US results contrasts with the congratulations given to Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales on this re-election offer last year, despite allegations of fraud by the opposition.

Mexican officials said the decision was due to a desire not to provoke Trump while he was staying in the White House.

“Bolivia does not have a 3,000 km border with Mexico,” one official said of the apparent contradiction. “It is important to have peace and good neighborly relations for a few months.”

In his remarks, Lopez Obrador described the decision as “politically prudent”.

He said he has a good relationship with Trump and former Vice President Biden, whom he has known for a decade.

He had to draw a fine line with Trump, whose term of office is due to end on January 20th. A Biden presidency could reset ties that have frayed since Trump’s first offer at the White House, and Mexican migrants raped and tarred shooters and tarred vows to keep them out with a border wall.

Under Trump, Mexico faced sudden demands to curb illegal migration or raise trade tariffs.

However, by joining Trump’s migration dictates, Lopez Obrador has built an uncomfortable relationship of mutual comfort in which Washington has largely avoided criticizing its economic policies.

“President Trump was very respectful of us,” he said. “And we are grateful that he did not interfere.”

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