Costa Rica’s Solís to skip Nicaragua during upcoming Central America tour

April 21, 2014

Costa Rican President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís kicks off on Tuesday a tour of Central America and the Dominican Republic to invite regional leaders to his May 8 inauguration. But he won’t be stopping in Nicaragua to meet with Daniel Ortega.

“Evidently, don Luis [Guillermo Solís], with the diplomatic experience he has, believes that given the [two countries’] bad relations and statements by the Nicaraguan president he shouldn’t visit [Nicaragua],” incoming Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez told news site ameliarueda.com on Sunday.

However, Solís, a former historian and foreign relations expert, is expected to send an official invite through the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José, and he has “maintained a dialogue through the ambassador so that [Ortega] will be present,” Jiménez added.

“We hope [Ortega] will attend the May 8 inauguration ceremony,” he said.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua have three pending cases before the International Court of Justice at The Hague – two filed by Costa Rica and one by Nicaragua – over ongoing border disputes.

Jiménez said Solís would listen to regional leaders’ expectations during the upcoming trip to Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, ameliarueda.com reported.

“It is tradition for the president-elect to visit the countries of the region to reaffirm the spirit of integration,” Jiménez said.

Last Monday, Solís announced the first 21 members of his Cabinet, a team that combines technocrats, academics and entrepreneurs. Within a week, he is expected to announce the rest of his administration, including the foreign minister.

Solís, a 55-year-old former professor, was elected president during an April 6 runoff, winning an unprecedented 78 percent of the vote against losing ruling party candidate Johnny Araya, the former long-term mayor of Costa Rica’s capital, San José.

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