U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with the incoming foreign minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, on Sunday as the two nations work toward a deal to keep asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims are considered, top White House officials said on Tuesday.
“They will have a full conversation about all the issues in connection with the border,” White House national security adviser John Bolton told reporters at the White House about the planned meeting between Pompeo and Ebrard.
That conversation will be followed up with talks on Monday between Ebrard and other Trump administration officials, including the U.S. homeland security chief, aimed at finalizing an agreement, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
“Those conversations continue,” she said when asked how far talks between the two nations had advanced. “We won’t have a final decision until the new government actually takes over.”
Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office on Saturday.
“We expect the new foreign minister from Mexico to meet and sit down with White House administration officials, and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and continue and try to finalize those conversations,” Sanders said.
Earlier on Saturday, Sanchez Cordero denied reports that the transition team of President-elect Obrador reached an agreement with the United States government to keep migrants south of the U.S. border while their asylum requests are being processed.
The binational plan allegedly emerged last weekend during a meeting between Mexico’s future Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials.
But Sanchez Cordero denied that any agreement existed beyond the "willingness" to cooperate and declared that Mexico has been a "hospitable" country and will always remain as such.