Obama Welcomes Calderon To The White House : The Two-Way The president welcomed his Mexican counterpart to the White House this morning, with an elaborate ceremony.

Obama Welcomes Calderon To The White House

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House welcoming ceremony. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House welcoming ceremony.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

With plenty of pomp and circumstance, President Barack Obama welcomed his Mexican counterpart, President Felipe Calderon, whom he called "our neighbor, friend and partner," to the White House for an official state visit.

"The United States and Mexico are not simply neighbors, bound by geography and history," Obama said. "We are, by choice, friends and partners."

Your visit speaks to a truth of our time in North America and the world. In the twenty-first century, we are defined not by our borders, but by our bonds. Let us stand together. Let us face the future together. Let us work together.

Obama noted that Calderon was the first leader he met after the 2008 election, and he thanked him and the Mexican people for their hospitality during several visits the president has made to Mexico.

In a speech peppered with Spanish phrases and a quotation from the Mexican writer Octavio Paz, Obama also marked the importance of this year in the history of the Americas: Mexico declared its independence 200 years ago, and 2010 is the centennial of the Mexican Revolution.

This morning, Obama will have a closed-doors meeting with Calderon at the White House, followed by bilateral meetings with the Mexican president's delegation. On the agenda: trade, security and immigration.