02:50 GMT17 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump has ordered the State Department to cut all direct financial assistance to the so-called Northern Triangle countries, namely El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, ABC News reported on Saturday citing a State Department spokesperson.

    "At the Secretary [Mike Pompeo]'s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY [fiscal year] 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle… We will be engaging Congress as part of this process," the spokesperson told ABC News broadcaster.

    On Thursday, Mr Trump, who has been seeking to build a barrier on the US border with Mexico to suppress illegal migration, said that he might close the border, accusing Mexico and Honduras, among other countries, of failing to prevent migration flows into the United States.

    READ MORE: Mexico Won't Act Based on Trump Threats to Close Border — Foreign Minister 

    As Politico newspaper reported on Friday, about $627 million that Congress allocated for Central America one year ago had been long in limbo at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

    El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have been the major countries from where migrants are arriving into the United States. Washington has for years provided assistance to local authorities in order to help stabilize the social environment there to prevent people from leaving.

    READ MORE: Honduran FM Dismisses Mexico Claims Alleging Formation of Major Migrant Caravan

    Earlier this week, the US Customs and Border Protection said that more than 76,000 illegals crossed into the United States without authorization in February, which is an 11-year high.

    Meanwhile, Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said on Thursday that his country was preparing to receive a huge 20,000-strong caravan of migrants heading to the United States from Honduras in the coming weeks.

    illegal migration, Donald Trump, US, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
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