Foreign ministers from five Central American countries agreed Wednesday to set up a regional commission to monitor implementation of a peace accord signed last year and to hold a summit of the nations' presidents in January.
In a document signed before Joao Baena Soares, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, the five ministers agreed to the establishment of a commission to oversee fulfillment of the Esquipulas II peace pact signed Aug. 7, 1987, by the presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua."We are giving back hope to 28 million Central American people who long for peace," said Guatemalan Foreign Minister Alfonso Cabrera. "Peace cannot be obtained overnight. We have assumed the responsiblity for creating the conditions for peace - a complex process. The signing of this document is a great step toward that."
The ministers did not say where the commission will be based, how many members it will have or when it will be established.
The ministers' meeting in Mexico City was convened to give new impetus to the peace plan, which is aimed at ending the region's civil wars and democratizing its political life.
The foreign ministers agreed to hold a presidential summit Jan. 12-13 in El Salvador, to be preceded by a preparatory session of the ministers in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua.
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel D'Escoto said the summit, the date for which had been pushed back several times because of a dispute between his country and neighboring Honduras, could prove to be a key step in bringing peace to war-ravaged Central America.
"In the next meeting we will discuss the mechanisms of verification (of the peace accord), and historic decisions will be made in January."