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Mexico's Obrador, Harris Discuss Migration, Boosting Central American Economies

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a call with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, in Mexico City, Aug. 9, 2021.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on Monday about migration, the battle against COVID-19, and the need to strengthen Central American economies, the White House said in a statement.

In a brief statement on Twitter, Lopez Obrador said the conversation had been good and that he would provide more details Tuesday.

The White House said the two leaders discussed ongoing bilateral cooperation to address "irregular migration" to the shared U.S.-Mexican border and agreed to focus on bolstering Central American economies through investment in agriculture and climate resilience.

Harris updated Lopez Obrador on U.S. efforts, including the July 29 release of the U.S. strategy for addressing the root causes of migration in Central America.

The U.S. vice president also told Lopez Obrador that Washington was committed to sending additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Mexico, on top of the 4 million doses already delivered, the White House said.

Speaking before the call, a senior U.S. official said the vaccines could come from multiple manufacturers, including Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Earlier, Lopez Obrador said he and Harris would discuss reopening the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration and vaccines against COVID-19, new cases of which have jumped in Mexico.

Speaking at a regular morning news conference, the Mexican president said vaccinations along Mexico's border with the United States had led to fewer hospitalizations and deaths in the face of rising infections on both sides.

"This is what I'm going to suggest today, that we can demonstrate that we're not putting the population at risk," Lopez Obrador said in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

The United States has sent a few million vaccine doses to Mexico and would be sharing more with it than with any other country, reflecting the importance it attached to the bilateral relationship, the U.S. official said.

The countries' 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border has been closed to nonessential travel since early in the pandemic last year.