01:46 GMT +316 June 2019
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    Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during the official announcement as a candidate for national elections, in Mexico City

    Mexican President Vows to Collaborate With US, Including on 'Migration Phenomenon'

    © AFP 2019 / Pedro Pardo
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    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Saturday that Mexico has no intention of harming the United States, stressing that his country will collaborate with Washington on all areas, especially on 'the migration phenomenon'.

    According to Lopez Obrador, Mexico will offer next week a humanitarian aid and job opportunities for asylum seekers, who await adjudication from the US authorities.

    "Starting next week, we will begin offering humanitarian aid, job opportunities, education, health care and welfare to those in Mexico waiting for their asylum request to legally enter the United States", Lopez Obrador said, addressing an event in the city of Tijuana.

    The Mexican president also touched upon the alleged cause of the migration, adding that he intended to continue to build relations of friendship and cooperation with the United States, without "harming the country" and without interfering in its affairs.

    “The migration phenomenon doesn’t come out of nowhere" Lopez Obrador said. "It originates in the poverty and insecurity in the Central American countries and in the marginalized regions of Mexico [...] The most effective and humane way to stop migration is to combat the lack of opportunities and poverty, so that migration is optional and not forced”, Lopez Obrador concluded, cited by the Desert Sun media outlet.

    Washington announced late on Friday that it had reached an agreement with its southern neighbor to curb illegal migration flows from Central America to the United States.

    READ MORE: Mexico Experiencing Influx of Immigrants on Southern Border - Undersecretary

    Under the deal, Mexico commits itself to deploy its National Guard throughout the country and, especially, to its southern border and working to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking networks. As part of the agreement, the United States will also return asylum seekers, crossing its southern border, to Mexico where they may wait for decisions on their cases. Mexico, in turn, is obligated to take in these people and offer them jobs, health care and education.

    Caravans of migrants from Central American countries seeking asylum began to move toward the United States through Mexico last fall. Trump called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February to secure funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

    Last week, US President Donald Trump warned that Washington would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico starting 10 June, adding that the duties would go up to 25 percent by October unless the US southern neighbor alleviated the illegal immigration crisis. The countries subsequently engaged in lengthy talks to resolve their tensions.

    READ MORE: Over 200 Migrants Found Trapped in House in Mexico Without Food, Water - Reports

    Trump said Friday he would "indefinitely suspend" the tariffs following the reached agreement.

    US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Saturday the US-Mexico migration deal announced earlier by Trump, stressing that the agreement was based on a reckless threat to our "close friend and neighbor to the south”.

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