GUATEMALA CITY — Foreign ministers attending the Organization of American States meeting Friday approved a resolution that calls on the Contadora Group to press its efforts to resolve the Central American conflict.
The resolution came after heated debate Thursday among the delegates from 31 nations over a proposal that called for the establishment of democracy in the region and an end to foreign intervention and the arms buildup.
Representatives of the Contadora Group--Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama--have been working to win negotiated settlements of Latin American conflicts since January, 1983, when they held talks on the Panamanian island of Contadora.
The Central American nations, the Contadora Group and the Contadora Support Group--made up of Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay--held talks late into the night Thursday to resolve the dispute.
The approved resolution called on the group to "persist in its valiant efforts in favor of a Central American peace agreement."
However, Washington's staunchest ally in the region, El Salvador, tried to introduce a clause that called on the OAS, rather than the World Court, to rule on a Nicaraguan case against Honduras and El Salvador. Nicaragua has asked the World Court to rule that the two countries' alleged support for U.S.-supported Nicaraguan rebels, known as contras, is illegal. The World Court is the principal judicial arm of the United Nations.
Costa Rican representative Guillermo Villalobos said Nicaragua's case in the World Court undercut the Contadora Group's role as an arbitrator in Central America.
The clause was withdrawn and Nicaraguan Deputy Foreign Minister Victor Hugo Tinoco said he was satisfied with the resolution that the group passed.
Despite repeated efforts to reach agreement on a peace plan, the Contadora Group has not been successful in arranging a peace treaty among the Central American nations.