San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arias urges EU to sign on to Central America partnership


BRUSSELS – Costa Rican President Oscar Arias urged European countries yesterday to swiftly sign a pending trade partnership agreement with Central America and to pick up “leadership” in cooperation with his region.
Speaking before the European Parliament, Arias said the agreement is crucial to Central America’s future and that it will allow Europe “to benefit from economies that have grown twice” as fast as EU economies in recent years.
The president has said he’s confident the blocs will reach an agreement by early next year.
However, he lamented Europe’s “neglect” of his region.
“We never imagined that by entering a world a peace we’d also be entering in (a world) of neglect,” Arias said. “Yesterday we were peace allies, today we can be partners in development.”

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