San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Slim hopes for binational meeting in Costa Rica

Despite a friendly letter from the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry, the Binational Commission meeting scheduled for this weekend remains unlikely.

In a letter written Wednesday night, the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry said they intend to attend the Binational Commission meeting scheduled for Friday and Saturday in the northwest Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. The letter said the Nicaraguan government had an “inalterable commitment” to the meeting and that they had a “strong desire” to strengthen the friendship and brotherhood between the two nations.

While the letter was rich with positive rhetoric, it failed to address the status of the Nicaraguan troops stationed on the Isla Calero, the disputed piece of land on the south side of the Río San Juan.

Soon after receiving the letter Thursday, the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry responded by expressing “deep satisfaction” with the announcement, though that Costa Rica would only take part in the meeting if Nicaraguan troops were removed from the Isla Calero.

On Nov. 9, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) recommended that the nations hold a Binational Commission meeting after all troops were removed from the conflicted area.

“As soon as we receive information (that the troops are removed),” said the statement from the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry. “The Foreign Ministry will proceed in making contact with the honorable Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Nicaragua so that the Binational meeting can be scheduled.”

The Nicaraguan Ambassador to Costa Rica, Harold Rivas, said on Thursday that if the meeting could not be held as scheduled, that the Nicaraguan government would be willing to consider a different date.

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