May 27, 1986

The summit meeting of the Central American Presidents indicates that Nicaragua and the four Central American democracies are still far apart on a number of issues. The five Presidents decided that their joint declaration would not refer to the date of June 6, because there was a general sense that the date for signature of a treaty is unrealistic. I point out the fact that the President of Costa Rica made strong statements critical of Nicaragua. And we understand he rejected the inclusion in the joint declaration of the reference to the attending heads of states as freely elected, because Daniel Ortega does not fit that description.

The Nicaraguans also posed objections to reducing their military forces. The Nicaraguans continue to block progress toward achieving a treaty by demanding that the verification provisions and other military provisions of the treaty be negotiated only after the signing. This, of course, is not acceptable to the Central American countries.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at approximately 9:22 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.