By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will travel with a delegation to Panama next week for a ministerial conference on migration with the Panamanian government. country, the State Department reported Friday.
On the trip scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Blinken will meet with Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes, and executives from multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, international organizations and NGOs, said the Department of State.
They will discuss economic recovery, migration, the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, among other topics.
In October, the presidents of Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic had requested the help of the United States to stop the flow of thousands of migrants crossing the dangerous jungles that divide Panama and Colombia on their way to that country.
A record wave of unauthorized migrants entered Panama in 2021 from Colombia, according to government data provided to Reuters late last year, at a time when huge groups of people, mostly Haitians, entered the Central American country en route to USA.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington. Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)