9/24/2005

Governor Promises Closer Ties to Baja - Los Angeles Times

MEXICALI, Mexico. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Baja California Gov. Eugenio Elorduy emerged from a two-hour summit here on Friday pledging cooperation on a range of shared issues, including border security, pollution and immigration.

But the big question on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border after Schwarzenegger's first visit to this sweltering agricultural and industrial hub of about 850,000 people was this: What took them so long?

"This was long overdue," said David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego, "given that one-third of the electorate in California is Latino."

"There should be a lot more high-level meetings like this," added Shirk: "A cynic might say the reason there haven't been is his Spanish is limited to 'Hasta la vista, baby.' "

There was little cynicism to be found Friday, at least among officials, as the two governors and key cabinet members met for what was billed as a working session.

Schwarzenegger flew into the capital of Baja California from Los Angeles at noon, gushing with praise for his Mexican peer, whom he described as a "close friend" who had "taken me under his wing."

Governor Promises Closer Ties to Baja - Los Angeles Times

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