U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau arrived on Friday, Aug. 16, in Mexico City to take on one of Washington’s most significant consular posts.

Landau took on the position that was vacant for more than a year during the most challenging times for relations between the two North American countries.

He replaced Roberta Jacobson, who resigned and retired in May 2018. Jacobson was the first female U.S. envoy to Mexico.

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Upon landing in Mexico City, Landau gave a brief statement to reporters at the Benito Juarez International Airport.

“I come with my hand extended,” said Landau, emphasizing that the U.S. and Mexico are “partners, neighbors, and friends.”

Speaking in Spanish, Landau said, “That is how it is today and how it always will be,” adding, “My message today is very simple.”

“The United States wins when Mexico is prosperous and stable,” said Landau, and “Mexico wins when the United States is prosperous and stable.”

The new U.S. envoy stated that while “obviously there are challenges in the bilateral relationship, but they are the challenges expected of any relationship that is so close.”

Landau, however, did not answer any questions after highlighting that the two North American neighbors are key commercial partners.

Landau, a Harvard-educated lawyer, will be expected to liaise with Mexico on trade, immigration, and security—the same issues central to the relationship between the two countries.

The United States and Mexico share long-standing cultural, familial, and economic ties. The United States buys about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports—that amounted to about $360 billion in 2018.

For the first time, Mexico became the U.S.’s top or No. 1 commercial partner—ahead of Canada and China—in the first quarter of 2019.

Since the immigration pact signed on June 7 this year between the two neighbors, Mexico has helped to effectively clamp down the exodus of mostly Central American illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers into the United States.

In July, the number of illegal immigrants confronted by U.S. border patrols dropped below 100,000 for the first time in five months, according to U.S. government statistics released recently.

On Aug. 8, U.S. border authorities confirmed that detentions of illegal immigrants plunged almost 45 percent along the southern border since the signing of the agreement between the two neighbors.