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News, 8/24/2011

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos: The best election observers are the people

‘President Daniel Ortega has invited any interested parties from EU countries and elsewhere to observe the Nicaraguan presidential elections in November,’ said Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos on his visit to Finland on 22–23 August.

One of the issues covered in the discussions between the Finnish and Nicaraguan Foreign Ministers was Nicaraguan and Central American development. Photo: Eero KuosmanenOne of the issues covered in the discussions between the Finnish and Nicaraguan Foreign Ministers was Nicaraguan and Central American development. Photo: Eero Kuosmanen

‘The elections in November will also be observed by representatives of Nicaragua’s political parties, who will be sitting at the election tables. It is their job to ensure that the elections proceed smoothly. However the best election observers are the Nicaraguan people,” Santos said. He believed that the Government’s efforts over the past four years to improve living conditions, education and health care will decide the forthcoming elections.

In Finland Foreign Minister Santos met with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries, Nicaraguan and Central American development as well as EU issues. According to Foreign Minister Santos the discussions were conducted in an atmosphere of fraternity.

Future of development cooperation under review

‘We discussed Nicaragua’s development and current events in the EU, and talked about trade relations between our countries and Nicaragua’s future elections. Discussions will be held with the EU to consider the possibility of sending observers to monitor Nicaragua’s elections,’ Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said.

Tuomioja expected that the long-standing cooperation between Finland and Nicaragua would continue in the future, at least at some level. ‘Development cooperation is based on bilateral agreements between our countries. The future of Finnish-Nicaraguan cooperation will soon come under review. Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala has already started work to this end,’ Tuomioja said.

In his discussions with Undersecretary of State Anne Sipiläinen, Foreign Minister Santos had the opportunity to talk about issues of development cooperation between the two countries. Nicaragua is one of Finland’s longest standing partners in development cooperation.

In 2010 the value of development cooperation between Finland and Nicaragua came to around 11 million euros. The main areas of focus were rural development, good administration and health care.

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Updated 8/24/2011

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