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Bush touts U.S.- Mexico ties

Bush touts U.S.- Mexico ties

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush highlighted the importance and strength of U.S. relations with Mexico on Saturday, the day before Cinco de Mayo -- a celebration of the Mexican Army's victory over the French 140 years ago on May 5.

"That victory continues to inspire liberty-loving people across the globe," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

He said his close relationship with Mexican President Vicente Fox, highlighted during Fox's visit to the White House shortly before September 11, is a reflection of the strong ties and shared values between the neighboring countries.

The United States is "grateful" for the support of Mexico in the U.S.-led war on terror, Bush said in his address.

Bush also emphasized the shared goals of Mexico and the United States, including a "smart border," allowing the "safe flow" of goods and people without compromising security, as well as improving living conditions in border areas.

One of the key issues facing the two nations is immigration. Bush said he has asked Congress to pass and extension of an existing immigration law that would allow families to stay together while becoming permanent residents.

Bush noted that Mexico and the United States are working on a "Partnership for Prosperity," launched during Fox's visit last year, which seeks to use public and private resources to improve Mexico's infrastructure and invest in the country's small businesses.

Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend a special reception at the White House Sunday celebrating Cinco de Mayo.




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