Mexican, Guatemalan leaders to meet over immigration issues
MEXICO CITY, Aug. 19 -- Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday said he will soon meet with Guatemalan president-elect Alejandro Giammattei to discuss immigration matters. The Mexican side has already met with the leaders of El Salvador and Honduras to promote a multilateral initiative to spur regional development and curb the migrant exodus from Central America to the United States, said the president. Lopez Obrador made the remarks during a tour of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, where he will meet with Giammattei, who will take office in January. "We are supporting El Salvador and Honduras with development cooperation and we will soon be doing that for Guatemala also. I am days away from meeting with Guatemala's president-elect," Lopez Obrador told reporters. Stemming the rising tide of South Mexican and Central American migrants fleeing poverty has become a priority issue for Mexico. "We decided to spur the development of south, southeast Mexico and also support our sister countries in Central America through poverty alleviation programs," said the president. "If people have jobs in their towns, they don't see a need to emigrate. People leave because they have to, not because they want to," he added. Guatemala and Mexico share a 963-km border, and Mexico is the country's second-largest trade partner, after the United States, according to Mexico's Foreign Ministry.