The presidents of five Central American countries have agreed to dismantle military bases used by Nicaraguan rebels in Honduras and to hold elections in Nicaragua.
President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua said his leftist government will move up elections to February 1990 and let the opposition help organize them.The presidents said they would devise a plan within 90 days for disbanding the U.S.-backed rebel force in Honduras, estimated at 11,000 fighters.
The accord was reached Tuesday, at the end of a two-day summit meeting.
"We're ready to return to Nicaragua when we see that Ortega seriously is going to begin implementing his promises," Adolfo Calero, a member of the Contra directorate, told a news conference.
The United States cut off military aid to the Contras 12 months ago.
The summit produced an eight-page accord the presidents said would reinvigorate the regional peace plan they signed 18 months ago.
President Jose Azcona of Honduras, whose country became the Con-tras' haven at the urging of the United States, said he expected Washington to back the agreement. There was no immediate comment from the State Department.
"We believe we have adopted a decision in the interest of the five Central American countries. We also believe that the United States . . . will respect the accord that we have signed this day," Azcona told a news conference.
What remained unresolved was the issue of verification of progress toward democracy under the Central American peace plan.
Ortega promised to move up national elections, which had been scheduled for November 1990, and to hold local elections at the same time. His term is to end in January 1991 but members of the ruling Sandinista party have indicated that could change.
Ortega said opposition parties would have equal access to radio and television - which the government now controls - and representation on the national election commission.
He also said the entire election process would be open to international observers.
Nicaragua promised to free about 1,600 imprisoned Contras and members of the National Guard of dictator Anastasio Somoza, who was overthrown in 1979 by the revolution the Sandinistas rode to power.
The five-way agreement on disbanding the Contras, adopted at the urging of both Nicaragua and Honduras, calls for the rebels and their families to be offered voluntary repatriation or relocation to "third countries."
The Contra leaders, consigned to the sidelines during the negotiations over their fate and safe haven, were stung by the agreement.
"I would say whatever accord is reached based on Ortega's promises is equivalent to trying to leash a dog with sausage links," Calero said after the summit.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for authoring the regional peace plan, said the international community should help relocate the Contras and their estimated 10,000 family members.
He said "those who sponsored the Contras for many years" should feel most responsible for finding them new homes."