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Costa Rican foreign minister visits U.N.

November 30, 2010

Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro visited the United Nations in New York on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the ongoing border conflict between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. According to Vice-Chancellor Carlos Roverssi, Castro met with members of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the occupancy of Nicaraguan soldiers on the Isla Calero, the disputed parcel of land near the Río San Juan at country’s border in the northeast.

Prior to his trip to New York, Castro consulted several Costa Rican representatives living abroad, including Eduardo Ulibarri, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the U.N., and Edgar Ugalde, representative at the International Court of Justice Court in The Hague, Netherlands. On Nov. 18, Castro announced that Costa Rica filed a case with the world court to resolve the conflict with Nicaragua. The case is expected to be heard Jan. 11-13.

“We consider the involvement of the U.N. to be a last resort,” Castro said. “But we must keep all available diplomatic channels open as we search for a resolution.”

On Friday, three members of the Organization of American States (OAS) visited Costa Rica to participate in a flyover of the Isla Calero, where Nicaraguan soldiers remain stationed. The visit corresponded to the vote taken on Nov. 12, when 22 of the 27 OAS representatives voted for troops to leave the conflicted region prior to the Binational Commission meeting. The Binational Commission meeting was scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday in Costa Rica but was canceled due to Nicaragua’s lack of compliance to the OAS recommendations.

On Dec. 7, all the Foreign Ministers of OAS countries are scheduled to meet in Washington D.C. to further discuss the conflict, which is now in its seventh week. Pictures circulated by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday reveal continued environmental damage to the Isla Calero, as well as a photo of a Nicaraguan flag on the disputed territory. 

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