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Managua

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th February 1986.

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Photo of Mr Michael Meadowcroft Mr Michael Meadowcroft , Leeds West 12:00 am, 5th February 1986

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Her Majesty's Government's ambassador with responsibility for Nicaragua last visited Managua.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey

Her Majesty's ambassador, who resides in San José but is also accredited to Nicaragua, is in Managua. He last visited Managua from 17 to 19 December 1985.

Photo of Mr Michael Meadowcroft Mr Michael Meadowcroft , Leeds West

We are glad to hear that the diplomat is in Managua. Does the Secretary of State accept that the efforts of the United States to isolate Nicaragua are self-fulfilling? Do the Government support those efforts? Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman accept that to promote the Contadora process for peace necessitates regular communications in Managua by our representative? What progress is being made towards that end?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey

We support the Contadora process and have our own policy in that respect, in line with that of our European partners. On 20 January the Foreign Affairs Council gave a public welcome to the fresh impetus given to the Contadora process in Caraballeda in Venezuela, and we issued a statement urging that concrete steps be taken to facilitate the Contadora process. We obviously take steps to ensure that the United States is aware of our views. I accept the hon. Gentleman's point about the importance of representation in Managua. It was for that reason that I decided that the post should be reopened in May 1984, and its manning is kept under constant review.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley

What the Secretary of State has just said is welcome, but is he aware that last week the Minister of State, his hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker), said: Terrorism is terrorism from whomsoever it comes … wherever terrorism occurs it must be condemned"?—[Official Report, 30 January 1986; Vol. 90, c. 1109.] Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman confirm that that also includes United States-funded terrorism by the Contras against Nicaragua?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey

We have made it plain that we do not believe that the problems of Central America, any more than of any other region, can be solved by armed force. We have urged the need for restraint on all sides, and we have taken note of and welcomed the statement by President Reagan some time ago that he is not seeking the military overthrow of the Sandinista Government.