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Not considering safe third country migration deal with US: Honduras

Hondurans wait outside a bus while a policeman inspect their belongings as they begin their journey towards the United States, at a police checkpoint in Cucuyagua, Honduras, January 20, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Tegucigalpa, Honduras Sep 10, 2019, 02.48 PM (IST)

Honduras is not considering a so-called safe third country designation for migrants seeking refuge in the United States, foreign minister Lisandro Rosales said late on Monday, denying reports of a deal agreed with US officials.

The United States has persuaded neighbouring Guatemala to become a safe third country that would accept US-bound asylum seekers, part of a larger effort by President Donald Trump to reduce the flow of migrants.

The deal has yet to be ratified by Guatemala's government.

A safe third country designation would require asylum seekers to apply for protection in any legally-designated "safe" country they pass through before reaching the United States.

US authorities have said they were working with Honduras on a similar deal, but Rosales said no such agreement is in the works.

"Contrary to some publications, the talks with the United States do not contemplate that Honduras become a safe third country," the minister wrote in a post on Twitter.

Rosales added that the talks are instead focused on regional security, promoting investment and orderly migration.

Story highlights

The United States has persuaded neighbouring Guatemala to become a safe third country that would accept US-bound asylum seekers, part of a larger effort by President Donald Trump to reduce the flow of migrants.