US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is to lead a high-level delegation to a meeting with Mexican counterparts on March 23 in Mexico City, the State Department said late Wednesday.
The cabinet-level talks of the so-called High-Level Consultative Group are a follow-up to a similar meeting held in December 2008 in Washington before current President
Barack Obama took office, dpa reported.
The meeting is to focus on developments in combating Mexico-based drug-trafficking cartels as well as strengthening democratic institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The delegation is to include Defence Secretary Robert Gates; Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair; and other top officials from law enforcement and related agencies.
The State Department said the meeting has been "in preparation for several months."
However, its announcement followed Saturday's slayings in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, of an American employee at the local US consulate, her husband and the husband of a Mexican employee of the mission.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa is to lead the Mexican contingent.