Powell Meets With C. America Chiefs

Bluefields, June 7,  (AP) Secretary of State Colin Powell met with leaders from seven Central American countries Thursday to renew their commitment to help the region achieve social, economic and environmental goals.

The delegates signed a revised version of a 7-year-old agreement designed to enhance regional cooperation on issues ranging from disaster preparedness to climate change.

Powell told a State Department signing ceremony the 1994 agreement, known as Concausa, has been a great success in bringing sustainable development and renewable energy supplies to the region, among other achievements.

Accompanying Powell at the ceremony were senior officials from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

``A thriving, democratic Central America, a Central America with the capacity for environmentally sound sustainable growth, is good for all the states of the region and is good for the United States,'' Powell said.

``When democracy and development go hand in hand, prosperity follows,'' he added.

He praised the transformation of the region from a decade ago, when countries were ``embroiled in brutal internal conflicts with human rights atrocities on all sides, and democracy was in peril.''

The delegates issued a communique in which they said Concausa reflected their shared vision of ``comprehensive sustainable development, which brings together all of the various aspects of development political, economic, social and environmental into an interdependent, indivisible strategy.''

 

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