WASHINGTON Seeking to repair damaged relations, President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon agreed Thursday to deepen their cooperation in combatting drug violence and declared a breakthrough in efforts to end a long-standing dispute over cross-border trucking. During a joint news conference at the White House, Obama praised Calderon for his extraordinary courage in fighting the violent drug cartels that have been responsible for deaths on both sides of the border. Obama pledged to speed up U.S. aid to train and equip Mexican forces to help in those efforts, but he also acknowledged that the U.S. must stem the flow of cash and guns to Mexico that have aided the cartels. We are very mindful that the battle President Calderon is fighting inside of Mexico is not just his battle, its also ours, Obama said. We have to take responsibility just as hes taken responsibility. Calderons visit comes three weeks after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was shot to death in northern Mexico with a gun smuggled in from the U.S. The incident raised questions in the U.S. about Mexicos ability to control violence and has Obama administration officials considering arming U.S. agents working across the border to ensure their safety. Mexican law bans foreign law enforcement agents working in the country from bearing arms, and Calderon vehemently expressed his opposition to making an exception for U.S. personnel. But he said Zapatas death showed a need to consider alternative methods for protecting agents. His death must urge us to work together to ensure a prosperous and peaceful future for our region, Calderon said. Tensions between the North American allies were already heightened ahead of Zapatas death. Secret State Department cables released last year revealed a grim assessment by U.S. officials of Mexicos ability to fight drug cartels, saying the country has limited intelligence-gathering capacity and quoting Calderon as saying politicians could be tempted to return to a tacit policy of tolerating the gangs. AP --------------------------------------------------------- Mexico is not the only country in the world, OBAMA! Wake up! Put NATO troops on the border. Kick out Mexican squatters and their bandito babies! FEED AMERICANS FIRST!!