The three Secretary's of State

The three major North American nations are meeting to discuss a wide range of issues including the threat of the drug cartels in Mexico.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico met Monday for talks focused on trade, regional security and fighting transnational crime.

Clinton, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa gathered in this small Quebec town near Ottawa to prepare for a meeting of their heads of state early next year aimed at increasing cooperation on those issues, as well as tackling the threat from Mexican drug cartels.

U.S. officials said the three would focus on Central America and the Caribbean, including the situation in Haiti following disputed presidential elections there late last month and the country’s ongoing need for international aid in the wake of a devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic.

Thousands were unable to vote in the Nov. 28 election, which was widely criticized. Both the U.N. and the Organization of American States confirmed incidents of violence, voter intimidation and ballot-box stuffing — although both said the vote was still valid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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