Biden special envoy to Central American countries to meet president

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GUATEMALA CITY- Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei will kick off his two-nation tour by meeting U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday afternoon.

The Northern Triangle countries are Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, which have provided the bulk of U.S. migrants in the last years.

Biden's visit comes as migrants crossing the U.S. border set a record last month, adding urgency to Ricardo Zu iga's push to reform the border policy while keeping migrant flows under better control.

The meeting with Giammattei will be followed on Tuesday by discussions with other Guatemalan officials, said a statement from Zuiga's office, adding that beyond migration, the officials will also discuss economic development and security issues.

The American envoy also will visit El Salvador later in the week, according to a White House statement released on Sunday, but details of this leg of Zuiga's trip have not yet been announced.

While Zu iga was not scheduled to visit Honduras this week, he did discuss migration with the Honduran Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales on Friday, according to a statement from the Ministry on Monday.

Further discussions between Honduran officials and Zu iga are expected to continue in Washington on April 9, the statement added.

More than 171,000 migrants were caught along the border of US-Mexico in March, the highest monthly total in two decades and the latest sign of the mounting humanitarian challenge confronting Biden's two-month administration.

The March numbers represent a 178% increase in the number of migrant families caught at the border compared to the month before.

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