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Ducey: Arizona-Mexico relationship a model other states can follow

Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich listens to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at a forum with Sonora at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess on Friday, June 24, 2016 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that the type of relationship his state has with Mexico could serve as an example for other states to follow.

“I think this is a model that other states can follow, and I think the more relationships and friendships we build across the border, it helps us solve some of the very real issues that we do have,” he said during a meeting about strengthening ties with Mexico in Washington, D.C.

Ducey said, by bringing more than just government officials on official visits, Arizona fosters relationships and friendships with its Mexican counterparts.

“We brought a business delegation,” he said. “We brought an academic delegation.”

The governor said those relationships allow his state to not only solve problems jointly with Mexico, but also foster areas, such as trade, that are mutually beneficial.

“Trade is not a problem to solve. It’s an issue to focus on and expand,” he said, adding that the Central American nation is his state’s largest trading partner.

Ducey said he has developed his own relationships with Mexican officials, particularly Claudia Pavlovich. She is the governor of Sonora, the Mexican state that borders Arizona.

“We’ve (Ducey and his wife, Angela) been to Hermosillo several times,” he said. “She’s been to Arizona several times, including this past Christmas.”

He also described the relationship between his state and Mexico as “better than neighbors.”

“Gov. Paul Fannin, years before I ever came into office, said ‘God made us neighbors, so let’s be good neighbors,’ and we’ve even expanded that and said, ‘You know, we’re more than neighbors. Neighbors can move.’ We can’t,” Ducey said.

“When we did go down to Mexico City, I was so pleasantly surprised by the welcoming spirit and the hospitality that we received,” he continued.

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