Costa Rica and Lebanon reestablished diplomatic relations after 23 years during a ceremony Aug. 24 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
The decision was made by both countries to “promote the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding and develop ties of friendship under the principles of the United Nations and in conformance with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations,” said Jorge Urbina, Costa Rican Ambassador to the United Nations.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said the establishment of relations with Lebanon will “allow for a better political and diplomatic approximation with the Arabic and Islamic world in general and open commercial relations with these markets.”
During the past year, Costa Rica has also established diplomatic ties with Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen as part of the process of “normalizing relations with Arab nations,” he added.
Costa Rica and Lebanon broke diplomatic relations in 1984 after the Islamic League Conference called on Arab states to reconsider their ties with Costa Rica because it chose to maintain its Israeli Embassy in Jerusalem, a city at the center of bitter disputes among members of different religious creeds who for years have claimed it as their own.
Last August, President Oscar Arias announced Costa Rica would move its Embassy in Israel from Jerusalem, where it had been for 24 years, to Tel Aviv (TT, Aug. 18, 2006). At the time, Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only two countries in the world with embassies in Jerusalem.