Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power met on Friday with Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, Foreign Ministers Eamon Courtenay of Belize, Rodolfo Solano of Costa Rica, Pedro Brolo of Guatemala, Erika Mouynes of Panama, Vice Foreign Minister Jose Isaias Barahona of Honduras, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Egriselda Lopez of El Salvador on the margins of last week’s United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York City.
Secretary Blinken and his counterparts discussed shared priorities in the region, including collaboratively addressing the challenges of irregular migration, confronting corruption, and building our economies back stronger in the wake of COVID-19.
Secretary Blinken focused on advancing joint efforts to respond to the region’s migration challenge, including addressing the root causes of irregular migration and more effectively managing migration flows in and through Central and North America. The Secretary noted that the United States prioritizes the fight against corruption and impunity, and he strongly encouraged leaders to fortify democratic institutions and the rule of law, which will open more doors to foreign investment and generate more economic opportunities for the people of the region. He also urged regional partners to support the Nicaraguan people in the midst of the Ortega-Murillo government’s wave of political repression and human rights abuses. On the economic front, Secretary Blinken detailed U.S. plans to help the region’s countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic and “Build Back Better” through inclusive economic growth and increased foreign investment.