US President Barack Obama stressed Monday that the drug violence wracking Mexico should be "everybody's problem" and impacts communities across North America.
He was flanked by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House press conference during the North American Leaders Summit.
"I think we should be concerned about what's happening in Mexico and Central America because when you have innocent families and women and children who are being gunned down on the streets, that should be everybody's problem, not just our problem, not just their problem," Obama said.
Pointing to the shared border between the United States and Mexico, Obama said the violence could impact the ability of the neighbours to do business with each other.
The US and Canada must also take drug trafficking seriously because their citizens, both in large urban areas and remote rural areas, are the ultimate consumers of many of the drugs from Mexico, Obama said.
"Even in the remotest, most isolated parts of Canada or the United States, they're being impacted by this drug trade," he said. "And we've got to work cooperatively in order to deal with it."
Calderon called on his US counterpart to take even more action to deal with weapons flowing south into his country that are arming drug cartels.
Pointing to an increase in violence after the expiration of an assault weapons ban in the US, Calderon said action, such as a registry to track such weapons, needed to be taken or "we are never going to be able to stop the violence in Mexico or stop a future turning of those guns upon the US."
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