Costa Rica denies blocking negotiation with EU

Xinhua 2009-04-16

Costa Rica denies blocking negotiation with EU

SAN JOSE, April 15 (Xinhua) — Costa Rican Exterior Commerce Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz denied on Wednesday that his country blocked the negotiations for the Association Agreement with the European Union (EU).

Ruiz said that Costa Rica has most interest in the agreement "because we have 70 percent of the region’s trade with Europe and 70 percent of the European investment in Central America."

Ruiz also urged Nicaragua to change its stance on its proposal of a fund worth 60 billion euros (around 79 billion U.S. dollars) and to return to the negotiating table with the EU.

On April 1, Nicaragua withdrew from the talks with the EU in Honduras as it failed to gain support of other Central American countries on the fund proposal for regional development, in which it suggested the EU accounts for 90 percent and Central America 10 percent.

Nicaragua’s Vice Foreign Minister Manuel Coronel accused Costa Rica of demanding "in the last moment" to review the proposal.

For his part, Ruiz said that Nicaragua’s proposal should have been analyzed first by the monetary authorities of each Central American country before being presented to the EU.

"Nicaragua should have understood that there is no one who can offer gifts now, as the world’s important countries are busy restoring their economies from the financial crisis," Ruiz said.

Ruiz also said he expects the Central American presidents could discuss this issue at the 5th Summit of the Americas slated for April. 17 -19 in Trinidad and Tobago.

source: Xinhua