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|Wednesday, September 05, 2001, updated at 07:54(GMT+8)|
US, Mexican FMs Hold Talks on Bilateral RelationsUS Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Mexican counterpart Jorge Castaneda on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement on the controversial issue of immigration in talks here a day before Mexican President Vicente Fox's first state visit to the United States.
But the two sides have reached a series of minor agreements on cooperation of law enforcement, border security, trade, education, energy and social issues, Powell told reporters at a joint news conference with Castaneda after talks.
"I'm pleased that tomorrow Secretary Castaneda and I will be able, with our colleagues, to present to our presidents the result of this work and, I think, thereby illustrate how strengthened our relationship has become since the beginning of the terms of our two presidents," Powell said.
"We signed a memorandum of cooperation between our Department of Housing and Urban Development and its Mexican counterpart on Housing, Regional, Urban and Social Development," Powell said.
On the controversial issue of immigration, Powell said he was " enormously pleased with the progress" they have made.
"It is a very difficult, tough issue and we've got to do it right, not do it fast. And we've made a great deal of progress with respect to principles," Powell said.
"It is such a complex, delicate, long-standing and politically touchy issue in both countries that we have to address all of the facets of the issue," Castaneda said on his part.
In an interview published in Tuesday's Washington Post, Fox said he expected it could take four to six years to complete a comprehensive U.S.-Mexican immigration reform, including legalization for some undocumented Mexican workers in the United States.
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