White House Statement Following Discussions With President Luis Alberto Monge Alvarez of Costa Rica

November 4, 1982

President Reagan and President Monge met for about 30 minutes in the Oval Office, where they discussed a number of subjects. First, they discussed the Conference on Free Elections, which is the reason for President Monge's visit to the United States. At President Reagan's invitation, he will be addressing the Conference Friday. Both Presidents noted the important contributions it can provide to the strengthening of democratic institutions. In this regard, they also discussed the San Jose Conference of October 4, which produced agreement by the eight democratic states attending on the conditions necessary for the establishment of peace and stability in Central America. That Conference also created a regional organization to provide technical assistance to countries wishing to hold democratic elections.

In addition, the Presidents reviewed the status of President Reagan's Caribbean Basin Initiative. Congress has approved one of the major elements of this initiative -- a $350 million economic assistance supplemental. President Reagan is treating the remaining elements of the program -- the trade and investment incentives -- as a top priority and will urge Congress to enact those features when it returns later this month. He told President Monge he will work hard toward that goal, and the Costa Rican leader reiterated his strong endorsement of the initiative as vital to the region.

The two Presidents also discussed President Reagan's upcoming trip to Latin America, which includes a visit to San Jose, where, President Monge told President Reagan, he would be warmly welcomed.

Also attending the meeting were Costa Rican Foreign Minister Fernando Volio, Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S. Harrison, U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica McNeil, Secretary of State Shultz, Judge [Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs William P.] Clark, and Assistant Secretary of State Enders.