TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras is not considering a so-called safe third country designation for migrants seeking refuge in the United States, Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales said late on Monday, denying reports of a deal agreed with U.S. officials.
The United States has persuaded neighboring Guatemala to become a safe third country that would accept U.S.-bound asylum seekers, part of a larger effort by President Donald Trump to reduce the flow of migrants.
The deal has yet to be ratified by Guatemala’s government.
A safe third country designation would require asylum seekers to apply for protections in any legally-designated “safe” country they pass through before reaching the United States.
U.S. authorities have said they were working with Honduras on a similar deal, but Rosales said no such agreement is in the works.
“Contrary to some publications, the talks with the United States do not contemplate that Honduras become a safe third country,” the minister wrote in a post on Twitter.
Rosales added that the talks are instead focused on regional security, promoting investment and orderly migration.
Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by David Alire Garcia; editing by Darren Schuettler