Merkel wraps up Latin America tour with Mexico visit

Merkel wraps up Latin America tour with Mexico visit
Photo: DPA - Hitzfeld celebrates with the team
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has wrapped up a four-nation tour of Latin America with talks on investment and the environment on a brief visit to Mexico.

Merkel on Monday offered to worker more closely with Mexico, whose President Felipe Calderon said he was determined to gain “privileged relations” with the European powerhouse.

“I come with the offer of a fair association to defend our common interests,” said Merkel, who had visited Brazil, Peru and Colombia before reaching Mexico.

Her visit came two days after she attended a summit of European Union and Latin American leaders in the Peruvian capital Lima, where Mexico was given “strategic partner” status with the European Union.

Germany is Mexico’s top trading partner among EU member states, Calderon said, noting that bilateral trade had almost doubled between 2000 and 2007 from $7.3 billion to $15 billion.

“We are determined to push for privileged relations with Germany,” Calderon said.

Merkel was expected back in Berlin on Tuesday.