§ Mr. Corbyn
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current position of the Contadora peace initiative in central America.
§ Mr. Rifkind
The central American states are continuing to negotiate on the basis of a revised draft of the Contadora Act presented to them by the Contadora group on 12–13 September in Panama City.
§ Mr. Corbyn
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will propose at the forthcoming ministerial summit in Luxembourg any western European initiative to assist the Contadora process in central America;
(2) what measures have been taken within the past 12 months following the conclusions of the San Jose ministerial conference, held in September 1984, about the Community, Portugal, Spain and the group of central American countries developing, extending and diversifying their mutual trade to increase bilateral trade between Britain and Nicaragua;
(3) if he will make a statement on the progress achieved in implementing the decisons of the ministerial conference held in San Jose in September 1984; and if he will detail Her Majesty's Government's contribution to this progress;
(4) whether he is satisfied with the progress made in implementing the decisions of the ministerial conference held in San Jose in September 1984; and if he will be making any proposals to strengthen the implementation of these decisions at the forthcoming ministerial conference in Luxembourg on 11 and 12 November.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Our policy towards Central America is designed to support the efforts of the Contadora group to promote conditions of political stability in which the fundamental social and economic problems of the region can be tackled.
Since the San Jose meeting, we have been working with our European partners to ensure that the follow-up conference to be held in Luxembourg on 11–12 November will fulfil the commitment entered into at San Jose to promote stronger economic and political relations between the two regions. We and our partners have remained in close touch with the Governments of central America and the Contadora states. Arrangements for regular political dialogue between the two regions are likely to be agreed at the Luxembourg meeting in November.452W
In parallel, the European Commission in consultation with members of the Community and the central American countries, have been examining how best to strengthen economic links between the two regions. An economic framework agreement on the lines envisaged in the San Jose communiqué has been negotiated. It is hoped that this will be signed at the Luxembourg meeting. The agreement will include provision for additional EC aid to central America. The additional aid will have the objective of promoting inter-regional integration and the development of central America as a whole.