The Mexican government will not accept U.S. troops into its country to combat drug cartels, Mexico's ambassador to the United States said here Monday.

"That option is not on the table," Arturo Sarukhan said during a press conference at the Mexican Embassy in Washington.

The remark came in response to a question from Efe about Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry's suggestion that if he wins in 2012, he would send U.S. troops to Mexico to help combat organized crime.

During a campaign event in New Hampshire, the Texas governor compared Mexico's current situation to that of the 1980s and '90s in Colombia, the No. 3 recipient of U.S. aid.

As governor of a border state, Perry has insisted on the presence of the National Guard on the international boundary as a deterrent to drug trafficking and illegal immigration, but this was the first time he has come out in favor of sending troops into Mexican territory.

Perry said that the level of violence in Mexico could require American military support, so he would be open to the possibility of sending troops to the neighboring country.

But Sarukhan said that the presence of U.S. troops in his country does not figure in the cooperation agreements between the two countries in the war on drugs.

Sarukhan recalled that, in the last five years, there has been a "paradigm shift" in the fight against drug trafficking, which now emphasizes "shared responsibility."

The ambassador said "there is nothing new" in the Mexican government's opposition to a U.S. troop presence south of the border.

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