Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that the most “pleasant and biggest surprise” during his three-day visit with high-ranking Mexican officials was hearing their willingness to help Texas secure the border.

In a brief interview with Texas reporters, Abbott said he’s been impressed with how, “behind closed doors, Mexico has shown great support for securing the border.”

“In all my talks with all Mexican officials, no one has said anything negative about what Texas has done on the border,” Abbott said. “To the contrary, they have talked about ways in which they can better secure the border and better collaborate with Texas.”

Abbott’s observations came during his first international trip as governor, a three-day visit to Mexico amid tensions over border security, and he sought to balance those concerns with prospects of greater economic integration. The visit ends Tuesday with a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at Los Pinos, the presidential residence.

Abbott is expected to invite Peña Nieto to visit Texas in the coming months, and the two leaders are expected to announce initiatives on issues ranging from border infrastructure to water. Mexican officials have expressed hope that Abbott will either amend or end the controversial travel advisory, in which Texas’ top law enforcement agency warns thousands of college and high school students to avoid Mexico during spring break.

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