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Latin American presidents to descend on Costa Rica this week

July 24, 2009

As the region´s eyes continue to be fixed on the crisis unfolding in Honduras, at least six heads of state will arrive in Costa Rica this week to discuss issues ranging from the flu to the economic recession.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón will join Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, Panama´s Ricardo Martinelli and Colombia´s Alvaro Uribe in the dialogue for the 11th Tuxtla summit scheduled for Monday through Wednesday in Costa Rica´s northewestern Guanacaste province.

Although Honduras´ deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, had initially confirmed his attendance, on Sunday he said he will remain at a camp he set up at Nicaragua´s border with Honduras (see separate story), The Associated Press reported.

Representatives from Belize, the Dominican Republic and several regional organizations are also expected to participate.

Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua had not responded to his invitation by the end of last week.

The leaders will retreat to Guanacaste to participate in “Tuxtla,” a summit designed to improve dialogue and coordination in the region.

This year, the focus of the three-day meeting is expected to center on development in Mesoamerica, but will also include discussion on security issues, the A(H1N1) flu virus and the economic crisis.

Mexican President Calderón expects to stay on a few more days to visit Costa Rica´s Legislative Assembly and Supreme Court.

According to a spokesman at Casa Presidencial, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias hopes to discuss the flu virus, strategies in forming stronger trade relationships and other problems facing the region with Calderón.

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