Honduras is calling for the creation of a United Nations peace force to evacuate thousands of Nicaraguan rebels based in Honduras and relocate them far from its borders.

The Honduran proposal, unveiled Tuesday night by Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez Contreras, also would apply to the comparatively small number of leftist rebels from El Salvador who operate out of Honduras.State Department spokesman Charles Redman said Tuesday night he had not seen Lopez Contreras' speech and had no comment.

Nonetheless, the speech appeared to signal Honduras' determination to end the tacit cooperation it has been providing to the United States by allowing the anti-communist rebels to use Honduras as a staging area for attacks against Nicaragua.