Obama to travel to Mexico, Costa Rica during 1st week of May

Washington, Mar 27 (EFE).- U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Mexico and Costa Rica during the first week of May as part of his efforts to strengthen the already-deep ties Washington shares with Mexico and Central America, the White House announced Wednesday.

Obama will visit Mexico and Costa Rica from May 2-4 on a tour that represents an "important opportunity to reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties that so many Americans share with Mexico and Central America," said the White House in a communique.

In Mexico, the U.S. president will meet with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, with whom he spoke by telephone on Wednesday, and they are expected to discuss "ways to deepen our economic and commercial partnership and further our engagement on the broad array of bilateral, regional, and global issues," the communique stated.

In Costa Rica, Obama is scheduled to meet with President Laura Chinchilla, as well as heads of state of other Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, at a regional conference Costa Rica is hosting, the statement continued.

The trip will be an "important chance to discuss our collective efforts to promote economic growth and development in Central America and our ongoing collaboration on citizen security," said the White House.

Although the communique does not say so, several press reports from the region have suggested, via unofficial sources, that Obama will participate in Costa Rica in a summit meeting of the Central American Integration System, or SICA.