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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela (R) shake hands next to Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo, at Las Garzas Presidential Palace, in Panama City, Panama, October 18, 2018. EPA-EFE/Bienvenido Velasco
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela (R) shake hands next to Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo, at Las Garzas Presidential Palace, in Panama City, Panama, October 18, 2018…

U.S. secretary of state visits Panama

Mike Pompeo's visit to the region coincides with the crisis over the advance of a caravan of hundreds of Honduran migrants who plan to cross Mexico and enter…

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Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela received U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Panama City Thursday for talks on topics such as drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

Pompeo was met at Tocumen International Airport by Panama's vice president and foreign minister, Isabel de Saint Malo, who escorted him to the president's office.

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday in a statement that Pompeo would discuss "regional priorities" with Varela, such as the war on terrorism and ongoing crises in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Pompeo also planned to raise Panama's decision to break off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in June 2017 in favor of formal relations with China, according to a State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pompeo's visit to the region coincides with the crisis over the advance of a caravan of hundreds of Honduran migrants who plan to cross Mexico and enter the United States.

President Donald Trump has threatened to have the armed forces seal the U.S.-Mexico border and warned Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that they could face a cutoff in aid from Washington if migrants were not stopped.

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