WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Lopez Obrador spoke by phone to discuss ways of addressing the root causes of illegal migration from Central America to the United States, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday in a readout of their call.

“President Trump and Mexican President López Obrador spoke yesterday about the positive relations between our two countries. They discussed the need to address illegal migration from Central America to the United States by addressing the drivers of migration, such as insecurity and economic stagnation,” Sanders said in the readout.

On December 5, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked the Pentagon to extend the deployment of troops currently stationed along the US-Mexico border through the end of January. The original request was set to expire on December 15.

The active duty military personnel were deployed to the US southwest border in October to assist the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon the arrival of migrant caravans from Central America.