Obama congratulates Pena Nieto on 'Chapo' recapture

Obama congratulates Pena Nieto on 'Chapo' recapture
PHOTO: Reuters

Washington - US President Barack Obama congratulated his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto Friday on the recapture of drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the White House said.

The kingpin's daring escape last year created a major embarrassment for the Mexican leader, who had balked at extraditing the druglord to the United States even though Guzman had already fled from another prison in 2001.

During their conversation, both leaders "reaffirmed the importance of all aspects of the bilateral relationship," according to a readout of their call.

Pena Nieto has now launched extradition proceedings for Guzman, while boosting security at the prison where he is held.

The White House said Obama spoke with Pena Nieto "to congratulate him on the arrest," which occurred one week ago after a deadly military raid on a house in Los Mochis, a coastal city in Guzman's native northwestern state of Sinaloa.

During the call, the two leaders also agreed that "a cooperative and supportive security dynamic as well as deep and robust economic bonds," are key to the US-Mexico relationship.

The statement said the pair emphasized "the importance of taking steps to advance the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership," the world's largest free trade deal between 12 nations, including the United States and Mexico.

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