US, Guatemala announce new initives to strengthen alliance

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

The vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, and the president of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo, reiterated this Monday the strategic partnership between the two governments on issues such as irregular emigration, one of the greatest concerns of the United States.

“We see this as a moment of historical relations between two countries that share values and that have challenges and interests in common,” Arévalo said at a press conference with Harris, after a meeting between the two in the White House.

Arévalo’s visit, which began on Sunday and which will last until Wednesday, responds to an invitation from the vice president to address issues of bilateral interest at a very special time of relations, according to the president’s words.

Harris confirmed the support of President Joe Biden’s administration to Arévalo in his announced fight against corruption and condemning the actions of Guatemalan sectors that tried to prevent his swearing-in as president elected on January 14.

“I am accompanied by President Arévalo of Guatemala, at a bilateral meeting to recognize the lasting friendship and strategic partnership between our nations,” Harris said in a brief speech to the press minutes after the meeting ended.

Hours before the meeting, the White House announced in a statement the decision to grant $170 million to the Guatemalan government to be employed in the fight against the causes of irregular emigration to the United States.

In the statement he explains that the funds, still pending ratification by the U.S. Congress, will be used for the transformation of security and justice institutions.

It also contemplates the creation of the Central American Service Corps, a program that will reach in the first year 2,800 young people who are at greater risk of migrating to involve them with volunteering, training and employment opportunities.

In addition, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will implement the Food for the Future Program, with the aim of strengthening the capacities of Guatemala’s research and education entities.

Precisely the agenda of the Guatemalan president’s stay includes this Tuesday 26th a meeting with the direct of the (USAID), Samantha Power. 

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in El Pais