MEXICO - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday said he will not seek confrontation with the United States but a friendly and cooperative relationship.

   Lopez Obrador reiterated that Mexico seeks to convince the United States to implement a proposed development and employment program that favors Central American countries as well as southern Mexico which would create jobs and help reduce migration. “We are persuading, (and) convincing the U.S. government that the best thing is development for the Central American countries, (and) Mexico ... That immigration becomes optional and not obligatory; that is our policy,” he said at a daily news conference.

Mexico has proposed that governments and businesses in the United States and Canada join an integral development plan launched by Mexico and countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America, namely, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, to spur investment and generate jobs in the region and thus address the migration issue.

In December, the US government said it welcomed the plan and pledged 5.8 billion U.S. dollars for institutional reforms and economic development in the Northern Triangle countries and another 4.8 billion dollars to boost private and public investment in Mexico. With that in mind, Lopez Obrador said he was confident that bilateral cooperation will move forward.

He also said Mexico will reinforce security along its southern border given the possible arrival of a new wave of Central American migrant caravans.