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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > October
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 4, 2001


Secretary Powell's Meeting with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Aguirre

Secretary Powell met October 4 with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Francisco Aguirre. The two leaders discussed the upcoming Nicaraguan elections and Nicaragua's role in the international effort to combat terrorism.

Nicaraguans will go to the polls November 4 to elect a new president and members of the national assembly. In casting their ballots, the people of Nicaragua will be participating in the first elections in the Hemisphere since the historic approval of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Democratic Charter in Lima last month. We can think of no better way to celebrate the Charter than for Nicaraguans to turn out in record numbers to vote and to continue Nicaragua's recent record of peaceful and democratic transfers of powers.

It is vital that Nicaragua have a smooth, transparent and legitimate electoral process. To that end, the United States has provided more than $5.5 million to the Organization of American States Observer Mission, American NGO's, local NGO observer groups, and the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) for election activities. It also is crucial that the Nicaraguan government ensure the CSE has sufficient resources to accomplish its mission.

The United States will respect the result of a free and fair election that expresses the will of the Nicaraguan people. However, we continue to have grave reservations about the FSLN's history of trampling civil liberties, violating human rights, seizing people's property without compensation, destroying the economy, and ties to supporters of terrorism.

In the wake of September 11, the formation of a global coalition to defeat terrorism is our first job. Nicaragua has been an important ally of the United States in this effort. In his comments before the United Nations on October 1, Foreign Minister Aguirre reiterated his country's pledge to work with the U.S. and other partners to eradicate the scourge of terrorism. We welcome that support and look forward to our continued work together.


Released on October 4, 2001

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