|Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador meet on Gulf of Fonseca|
The presidents of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras met in Managua on Dec. 4 “to establish a zone of peace” in the Gulf of Fonseca which the three countries share. Daniel Ortega, Mauricio Funes, and Porfirio Lobo signed a joint resolution establishing a tri-national commission to prevent conflict and promote sustainable development of the Pacific Coast bay. There have been sporadic incidents in the Gulf between and among fishing and naval vessels of the three countries, with at least four encounters during the past year including one a week ago, according to Honduran media outlets. The Gulf and surrounding area are home to 16 protected areas and the waters are rich in fishery resources. It is also one of the best natural bays in the world.
The presidents denied that there had been any confrontations between their armed forces with Funes saying, “We three presidents have been concerned that there are sectors interested in distorting some of the incidents.” He added, “We are looking for a solution to the conflicts in a peaceful and negotiated manner and we reject any use of military force.” Ortega said, “We are recognizing the 1992 ruling by the World Court which resolved a difference between Honduras and El Salvador. Our point of departure is recognition of the World Court.” He added that the joint declaration includes a review of the compliance with the 1992 ruling. Lobo emphasized the importance of the political will of the three countries to safeguard the Gulf as a zone of peace where economic projects can be developed to benefit the population. (El Nuevo Diario, Dec. 4; Radio La Primerisima, Dec. 4, 6; La Prensa, Dec. 5)