PANAMA CITY – Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela received US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday for talks on topics such as drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
Pompeo was met at Tocumen International Airport by Panama’s vice president and foreign minister, Isabel de Saint Malo, who escorted him to the president’s office.
The US State Department said Wednesday in a statement that Pompeo would discuss “regional priorities” with Varela, such as the war on terrorism and ongoing crises in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Pompeo also planned to raise Panama’s decision to break off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in June 2017 in favor of formal relations with China, according to a State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Pompeo’s visit to the region coincides with the crisis over the advance of a caravan of hundreds of Honduran migrants who plan to cross Mexico and enter the United States.
President Donald Trump has threatened to have the armed forces seal the US-Mexico border and warned Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that they could face a cutoff in aid from Washington if migrants were not stopped.