San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Foreign Minister Meets With Israel’s Ariel Sharon

JERUSALEM (EFE) – Costa RicanForeign Minister Roberto Tovar metwith Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharonon Monday, the first day of a four-dayvisit to the region.“They spoke of the important thingsthat are happening in the region, ofthe political affairs between Israel andthe Palestinian Authority as well asbilateral cooperation issues andwhat’s going on in Central America,”said Costa Rican ambassador toIsrael Noemí Baruj, who accompaniedTovar.Tovar’s tour will also take him toSpain and Taiwan.The governments of Costa Rica andIsrael have exceptional political relationsthat stretch back decades, reflected inthe Costa Rican Embassy in Jerusalem,not in Tel Aviv, a decision shared onlywith El Salvador.The rest of the countries have theirdiplomatic centers stationed in Tel Avivto avoid an implicit recognition ofJerusalem as the exclusive capital ofIsrael, because the Palestinians claimpart of the city as the capital of theirfuture state.Baruj said the visit would strengthenand expand ties with Costa Rica.“Tovar has spoken with his Israelicounterpart and other officials about bettercooperation in terms of agriculture,technology, and in all the processes ofdevelopment to confront globalization,”Baruj said.Asked about Tovar’s first impressionson this visit, Baruj said, “I believeyou have to live in this country to reallyunderstand what this fight for life isabout,” referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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