MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday that Mexico would meet with 19 countries in the coming weeks in an attempt to boost support for a plan to stem illegal migration toward the United States.
Tens of thousands of mostly Central American migrants have been crossing Mexico to reach its northern border with the United States, with an angered U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to impose tariffs on Mexico.
“We already have 19 countries we will meet in the next couple of weeks so that this plan and its actions will grow,” Ebrard said during the president’s regular morning news conference. “Now it is about developed countries participating.”
Ebrard said Mexico was investigating a network of human smugglers, including that of unaccompanied minors, which he said was on the rise, and the financing of these operations.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that Mexico would evaluate the results of the deal it had reached with the United States to stem migration north.
“We want a good relationship with President Trump,” Lopez Obrador reiterated, adding that, regardless of the often difficult and complex relationship, he had seen a willingness from Trump to come to an agreement.
Lopez Obrador met on Thursday with El Salvador’s new president, Nayib Bukele, in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala, to launch a development plan aimed at stemming illegal migration.
Lopez Obrador said Mexico’s priority was to address the root causes of illegal migration: poverty, violence and a lack of democracy in the countries of origin.
Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Lizbeth Diaz; editing by Jonathan Oatis