U.S., Mexico discuss migration, COVID-19 vaccines ahead of Harris visit

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U.S. Secretary of State Blinken visits Costa Rica

SAN JOSE (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Mexico's foreign minister on Wednesday discussed cooperation on migration and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines ahead of a visit to Mexico by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, the Mexican government said.

Blinken and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who met in San Jose, Costa Rica, reiterated their interest in Central American development to achieve "orderly, safe and regular migration," the government statement said.

"The officials discussed the common vision of both governments in relation to addressing the structural causes of migration," the statement said.

The two leaders also discussed progress towards addressing COVID-19 and economic recovery, as well as issues related to regional democracy and governance, and security, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the region was part of the discussion, Mexico said. Mexico has complained that richer countries have hoarded vaccine supplies, leaving poorer countries to struggle to secure doses.

The leaders also discussed preparations ahead of the Harris visit to Mexico on June 8, the statement said.

Harris, who is tasked by President Joe Biden with efforts to deal with an increase in migration at the U.S. Southern border, is next week scheduled to meet with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in person for the first time.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes in Mexico City and Humeyra Pamuk in San Jose; writing by Cassandra GarrisonEditing by Marguerita Choy)

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