Economy, Security Lead North American Summit Agenda

Posted April 2nd, 2012 at 1:30 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting the leaders of Canada and Mexico for a summit in Washington focusing on economic growth, security and climate change.

The White House says Monday's North American Leaders' Summit is a chance for the three countries to expand their cooperation in those areas. Mr. Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will also discuss the region's role ahead of the broader Summit of the Americas, which begins April 14 in Colombia.

The three men are scheduled to hold a joint press conference after Monday's meeting.

They last held a summit in 2009 in Mexico, and this year's gathering will be the last for this group of leaders, as Mr. Calderon's term in office ends in December. Mr. Obama is up for re-election in November.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met last month with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts to discuss ways to fight drug trafficking – a key problem plaguing Mexico. More than 50,000 people have been killed since President Calderon launched a massive military crackdown against drug cartels after taking office in 2006.