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Obama: US-Mexico stereotypes must be broken

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President Barack Obama and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands at a news conference at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City, Thursday, May 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) President Barack Obama and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands at a news conference at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City, Thursday, May 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Barack Obama says he wants to set aside old stereotypes that have created misunderstanding between Mexico and the United States. He says Mexico is an emerging nation that is remaking itself and that the U.S.-Mexico relationship should be defined by shared prosperity, not by threats both countries face.

In a speech Friday to a predominantly student audience in Mexico City, Obama conceded that demand for drugs in the United States is at the root of much of the violence in Mexico. He also acknowledged that most guns used to commit crime in Mexico come from the U.S.

Obama said he's optimistic the U.S. Congress will change the nation's immigration laws and says the current immigration system doesn't reflect U.S. values.

Obama was traveling to Costa Rica after the speech.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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