Guatemala announced Sunday that President Jimmy Morales’s scheduled meeting with his American counterpart Donald Trump, which was to take place at the White House this week, would be postponed.
The two leaders were to discuss a safe third country agreement, but a statement by Guatemala said that the meeting would be delayed until the Guatemalan Constitutional Court had ruled on legal challenges. Five former senior officials appealed to the court last week to block any safe third country agreement, The Hill writes.
The outlet adds that in such a scenario, the Central American country would have to process asylum claims from migrants passing through on their way to another country. Groups of Honduran and Salvadoran migrants often cross Guatemala before heading toward Mexico.
As a result, opposition to a safe third country agreement has mounted high, with the government saying in a statement that it “reiterates that at no point it considers signing an agreement to convert Guatemala into a safe third country.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
President Trump has openly expressed his criticism of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, maintaining that they do little to nothing to prevent their citizens from leaving to seek asylum in the U.S. As a result, earlier this year, the Trump administration cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to these countries. It later changed its decision and allowed about two-thirds of the funds to go forward.