MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Senior U.S. and Mexican officials will meet on Tuesday to discuss plans to reopen their shared border, and Washington has agreed to send Mexico up to 8.5 million more coronavirus vaccine doses, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.
Ebrard told reporters U.S. Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas and national security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet in Mexico City for talks with their Mexican counterparts as part of a drive to get cross-border activities back to normal.
The meeting comes after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday, discussing migration, the fight against COVID-19, and the need to strengthen Central American economies.
During their phone call, the United States agreed to send Mexico 3.5 million doses of drugmaker Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and up to 5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Ebrard told a regular morning news conference.
The vaccines would likely arrive in August, he said.
Ebrard added that he did not expect the U.S.-Mexico land border to reopen by Aug. 21, and that more time would be needed to resume transit for so-called nonessential trips, including for those who cross the border to work or attend school.
Speaking at the same news conference, Lopez Obrador added that Harris agreed with him on the need to reopen their shared land border, but did not provide a specific timetable.
Ebrard said Lopez Obrador and Harris had also discussed plans to revive, in early September, a forum for bilateral talks known as the high-level economic dialogue, which is aimed at improving economic integration and boosting growth.
When asked what such discussions could encompass, Ebrard noted that North America was gearing up for technological changes, such as the transition to electric cars, underlining the importance of companies like Tesla Inc in the industry.
“Obviously we’re interested in being a part of that,” he said.
(Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by Dave Graham and Jonathan Oatis)