Mexico’s ambassador to U.S. calls Biden ‘prospective’ President-elect

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Mexico’s ambassador to the United States on Tuesday called Joe Biden the “prospective” President-elect, in what could indicate a slight shift in position after the Mexican government said it was too soon to recognize a winner of the U.S. election.

Ambassador Martha Barcena published a series of talking points on Twitter titled “Position of the Government of Mexico” containing the new language. It was not immediately clear if the choice of words signalled a shift in Mexico’s official stance.

The Democrat former vice president secured the presidency by winning Pennsylvania on Saturday, but Republican President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede, and is pursuing lawsuits in several states in a bid to hold on to power citing “illegal” ballots. State officials have said there were no significant irregularities in the Nov. 3 election.

The Mexican foreign ministry did not offer specific comments on the ambassador’s statement, with a ministry official saying it had been issued by the embassy.

In response to questions from Twitter users, Barcena later gave several synonyms for the word “prospective.”

“Prospective can be translated in several ways, presumed is one of them, virtual would be another, probable, eventual, future,” she said in a Tweet.

So far, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has held back from congratulating Biden for winning the election even as government leaders in many countries sent their best wishes.

“This principled position underlines the respect for the U.S. political system and institutions and for both the Democratic and Republican parties as well as for President Donald Trump and prospective President-elect Joseph Biden,” Barcena said in the document.

“Mexico is ready to engage in a constructive spirit with the future U.S. administration, based on the enduring ties of friendship and neighborliness that bind our two nations.”

Lopez Obrador has reiterated he would not recognize the election winner until legal disputes were resolved, but said he had “no problem” with Biden.

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