Canada has made a commitment to negotiate with Mexico to seek mechanisms that "in the near future" will eliminate the need for visas for Mexicans who travel to that country, the Aztec nation's president announced Tuesday.

Enrique Peña Nieto told reporters that he and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had broached the issue.

The Canadian government decided that visas would be needed by Mexicans in 2009. Since then, Mexico, who is a partner with Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been insisting that the requirement be eliminated.

Peña Nieto, at an event at which he presided along with Harper in the National Palace, acknowledged the willingness of the Canadian Prime Minister to continue "talking and finding the formula and the mechanisms" with an eye toward resolving the issue "in the near future."

Peña Nieto mentioned the matter after discussing a series of accords signed Tuesday by the two governments and emphasizing the importance of bilateral links.

However, Harper, in a later statement, avoided any mention of the topic.

Canada's decision to require visas of Mexicans was announced after in 2008 some 9,400 citizens of this country requested asylum there.

A similar measure was put in place for Czech citizens, but the restriction was lifted in November after it created strong negative reactions in the European Union.

Canada is the second-biggest buyer of Mexican exports after the third NAFTA partner, the United States. The Canada-Mexican trade balance stands at about $35 billion per year.

In addition, Mexico each year welcomes 1.6 million Canadian tourists.

U.S. President Barack Obama will join Harper and Peña Nieto on Wednesday for a North American summit. EFE