US stops aid to 3 Central American nations over immigrants

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Washington: The US has stopped providing new funds to the three Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, also known as the Northern Triangle governments, accusing their failure in managing the immigration issue, the State Department said.

"We will not provide new funds for programmes in those countries until we are satisfied the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the US border," Xinhua news agency quoted State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus as saying on Monday.

"Working with Congress, we will reprogramme those funds to other priorities as appropriate," she added.

President Donald Trump's administration would reallocate $370 million in aid to Central America, which lawmakers had approved for the fiscal year 2018, and suspend an additional $180 million that Congress had approved for the fiscal year 2017, according to media reports.

A fiscal year in the US begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 in the following year.

Complaining that the Northern Triangle governments did "nothing" on illegal immigration after taking US aids, Trump in March ordered the cut-off of all direct aids to the three Central American countries, which drew criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

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