Press Release E-116 .99
December 20, 1999

Honduran, Nicaraguan Foreign Ministers To Meet with OAS Representative

Organization of American States (OAS) Special Representative Luigi Einaudi announced today that the foreign ministers of Honduras and Nicaragua will meet with him in Miami on December 29 to begin direct talks on reducing tensions between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Eduardo Montealegre of Nicaragua and his Honduran counterpart, Roberto Flores, have agreed to meet with Einaudi, the veteran U.S. diplomat appointed by the OAS to facilitate dialogue and help reduce the risks of armed conflict. Tensions have arisen between the two countries as the result of the recent ratification, by Honduras, of a maritime delimitation treaty between Honduras and Colombia.

"The focus of the talks next week will be mechanisms to prevent unintended clashes, pending a decision on the maritime boundary by the International Court of Justice," Einaudi said. "The willingness of both governments to talk underscores the commitment they have made to advance their claims peacefully and within the established norms of international law."

Einaudi has just returned from a four-day trip to the region, where he met with the presidents of Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as with opposition leaders, civil society organizations and other groups.

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