Mexico talks border, migration with U.S.; hails progress

Mexico and the United States made progress in bilateral cooperation on Tuesday after talks that were intended to focus on stemming illegal immigration and reopening their shared border, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

Ebrard met in Mexico City with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere, Juan Gonzalez.

At a news conference earlier in the day, Ebrard said the talks would encompass efforts to reopen the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as measures being put forward by the United States aimed at containing illegal immigration from Central America.

After the gathering, Ebrard said on Twitter that Mexico’s relationship with the United States was “going very well” and that the meeting had been “productive.” He did not immediately provide any details of the discussions.

The talks came after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday, discussing migration, the fight against COVID-19 and the need to strengthen Central American economies. read more

During their call, the United States agreed to send Mexico 3.5 million doses of drugmaker Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine and up to 5 million doses of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccine, Ebrard said, noting that the vaccines would likely arrive in August.

Ebrard added that he did not expect the U.S.-Mexico land border to reopen by Aug. 21, and that more time would be needed to resume transit for so-called nonessential trips, including for those who cross the border to work or attend school.

Speaking at the news conference, Lopez Obrador said that Harris agreed with him on the need to reopen their shared land border, but did not provide a specific timetable.

Ebrard said Lopez Obrador and Harris had also discussed plans to revive, in early September, a forum for bilateral talks known as the high-level economic dialogue, which is aimed at improving economic integration and boosting growth.

When asked what such discussions could encompass, Ebrard noted that North America was gearing up for technological changes, such as the transition to electric cars, underlining the importance of companies like Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) in the industry.

“Obviously we’re interested in being a part of that,” he said.

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