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Are Costa Rica-Nicaragua talks in Mexico a waste of time?

January 18, 2011

A Costa Rican delegation met with Mexican and Guatemalan diplomats on Monday to search for some sort of mediation agreement for the ongoing border conflict with Nicaragua. In the last three months, several international diplomatic organizations have failed to facilitate a resolution of the conflict, and it appears talks in Mexico, scheduled for this week, could meet the same fate. A statement released by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry on Monday reiterated that Costa Rican diplomats would not engage in direct dialogue with Nicaraguan officials while troops remained on the Isla Calero, near the border along the Caribbean coast.

“In this meeting we will only have formal dialogue with Guatemala and Mexico,” said Melvin Sáenz Biolley, the Costa Rican Ambassador to Nicaragua.

In the first day of meetings, which were held in Cuernavaca, Mexico,four members of the Costa Rican delegation met privately with Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinoza and her Guatemalan counterpart, Harold Rodas. Two representatives of the Nicaraguan government  also met privately with Espinoza and Rodas, but no direct talks between the two feuding countries took place.   

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Foreign Minister René Castro, who represented Costa Rica at the International Court of Justice last week in the Hague, continued touring European countries in a diplomatic effort to sway international opinion. On Monday, Castro met with British U.N. Ambassador Henry Bellingham to discuss the “grave destruction” caused by the Nicaraguan troops on Isla Calero. Castro also met with Chris Huhne, the U.K.’s energy secretary, to discuss the conflict. 

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