UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Wednesday that his country has decided to participate in U.N. peacekeeping missions again for the first time in decades.
That includes the possibility of sending military personnel, more than 60 years since the last time they were included on such missions.
"With this determination, Mexico, as a responsible actor, takes a historic step in its commitment to the United Nations," Pena Nieto said.
He said Mexico "supports and values peacekeeping operations, a U.N. instrument that helps countries overcome conflicts and create conditions for lasting peace."
Pena Nieto's office said Mexico's participation would happen gradually and could include both military and civilian personnel, including engineers, health workers, military and political observers and other specialists.
The president's office said there is no impediment in the constitution and no legislative change will be necessary. Mexican law gives the country's Senate the power to authorize military deployments beyond the nation's borders.
According to the presidency, Mexico has participated in U.N. peacekeeping missions three times before. Military observers were sent to the Balkans and Kashmir in the late 1940s, and 120 police officers went to El Salvador in the early 1990s.