Tucson officials received a personal “thank you” from a top Sonoran political figure for all the work the city has done over the past few years to bolster trade ties with northern Mexico and opposing SB 1070.

Representative Samuel Moreno Terán, PRI party leader in the Sonoran State Congress, presented Mayor Jonathan Rothschild  and council members Karin Uhlich and Richard Fimbres with plaques commemorating the city’s efforts to make Tucson a “visitor-friendly” place for Sonoran residents.

“One of the main reasons to be here today is to acknowledge and recognize the work of the mayor and city,” especially in regards to SB 1070, Moreno Terán said through an interpreter during an afternoon press conference at City Hall.

Rothschild said dispelling the notion that Arizona was hostile to Mexico was a primary motivator for reaching out to Sonora the past two years.

“I was frustrated and offended by remarks coming from some in Arizona,” Rothschild said. “Remarks which did not, and do not, reflect the feelings and beliefs of Tucsonans and Arizonans.”

Moreno Terán said many in Sonora consider Tucson as a “second home where people come to relax.”

He said he would like to further strengthen the relationship with Tucson so people begin to see it as a business destination as well.

He believes closer ties would be a win-win for both sides.

Plans have been in the works for months to expand commerce between the two sides.

Tucson is poised to open trade offices in Obregon and Hermosillo, start direct flights to Sonoran cities, and promote the Arizona-Sonora Business Resource Guide.

Rothschild expects to see those projects come to fruition and grow the collaboration between Mexico and Tucson even more over the next two years.

Rothschild said a springtime conference is being planned, at which public officials, business interests and academics from Mexico and the region will get together and exchange ideas.

Also, the city is weighing an offer to join Phoenix and a few other Arizona cities in opening a joint trade office in Mexico City.

The Tucson officials also expressed their friendship to Moreno Terán with a few tokens of good will.

After he presented the plaques, Rothschild handed him a commemorative coin and Fimbres presented him with a medal of hope and a certificate for working with the city.

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com. Follow on Twitter @DarrenDaRonco