U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Mexico amid heightened tensions between the two countries and ahead of a Monday deadline in which Mexico promised to cut the number of migrants traveling from Central America to the U.S. border.
The deal part of a June 7th agreement that would remove threats of tariffs by the U.S. on Mexican exports.
Pompeo met with Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, whose office said afterward, "Secretary Pompeo recognized the significant progress made by Mexican operatives, in compliance with the agreement." Pompeo was less specific, tweeting, "In our meeting, Marcelo Ebrard and I reaffirmed our shared democratic values and cultural ties.
Mexico is one of our most important partners to increase prosperity and security for our countries and the region." Ebrard said on Friday that Mexico has followed through on its commitment to reduce migration from Central America, after apprehensions of migrants on the southern U.S. border dropped by roughly a third to about 100,000 in June.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARCELO EBRARD, SAYING: "We have complied with the deal.... I am going to ask the U.S. about their compliance with what is established there, we have complied, so I don't see a problem." The agreement laid out that if the U.S. deems that Mexico has not done enough to thwart migrants, the two countries will begin talks over changing rules to make most Central American asylum seekers apply for refuge in a 'safe third country' - which could be Mexico - and not in America.
The Mexican ambassador to Washington last week said that her country is not ready to sign any such safe third country agreement.
The meeting between the two nations' top diplomats Sunday also came as U.S lawmakers wrangle over a regional trade deal meant to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.