Foreign relations of Costa Rica
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Costa Rica is an active member of the international community and, in 1993, claimed it was for neutrality. Due to certain powerful constituencies[who?] favoring its methods, it has a weight in world affairs far beyond its size. The country lobbied aggressively for the establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and became the first nation to recognize the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, based in San José.
Then-President Óscar Arias authored a regional plan in 1987 that served as the basis for the Esquipulas Peace Agreement and Arias was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Arias also promoted change in the USSR-backed Nicaraguan government of the era. Costa Rica also hosted several rounds of negotiations between the Salvadoran Government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), aiding El Salvador's efforts to emerge from civil war and culminating in that country's 1994 free and fair elections. Costa Rica has been a strong proponent of regional arms-limitation agreements. Former President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez recently proposed the abolition of all Central American militaries and the creation of a regional counternarcotics police force in their stead.
With the establishment of democratically-elected governments in all Central American nations by the 1990s, Costa Rica turned its focus from regional conflicts to the pursuit of neoliberal policies on the isthmus. The influence of these policies, along with the US invasion of Panama, was instrumental in drawing Panama into the Central American model of neoliberalism. Costa Rica also participated in the multinational Partnership for Democracy and Development in Central America.
Regional political integration has not proven attractive to Costa Rica. The country debated its role in the Central American integration process under former President Calderon. Costa Rica has sought concrete economic ties with its Central American neighbors rather than the establishment of regional political institutions, and it chose not to join the Central American Parliament. President Figueres promoted a higher profile for Costa Rica in regional and international fora. Costa Rica gained election as President of the Group of 77 in the United Nations in 1995. That term ended in 1997 with the South-South Conference held in San Jose. Costa Rica occupied a nonpermanent seat in the Security Council from 1997 to 1999 and exercised a leadership role in confronting crises in the Middle East and Africa, as well as in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is currently a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. On Jan. 1 2008 Costa Rica started its third year term on the Security council.
Costa Rica strongly backed efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, which led to the restoration of the democratically elected Government of Haiti in October 1994. Costa Rica was among the first to call for a postponement of the May 22 elections in Peru when international observer missions found electoral machinery not prepared for the vote count.
Costa Rica in the UN
Costa Rica has been an active member of the United Nations since its inception at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. Its first ambassador to the United Nations was Fernando Soto Harrison, the Secretary of Governance under President Picado.
China & Taiwan
Costa Rica maintained official relations with the Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") instead of the People's Republic of China (commonly known as "China") until June 1, 2007, when it opened relations with China. Taiwan then broke relations on June 7.
Soon after Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, Costa Rican President Mario Echandi ended diplomatic relations on 10 September 1961 with the island through Executive Decree Number 2, in compliance with sanctions placed on Cuba by the Organization of American States. In 1995, Costa Rica established a consular office in Havana. Cuba opened a consular office in Costa Rica in 2001. Forty-seven years after the initial freeze, Costa Rican President Óscar Arias Sánchez announced on 18 March 2009 that normal relations were to be re-established, saying, "If we have been able to turn the page with regimes as profoundly different to our reality as occurred with the USSR or, more recently, with the Republic of China, how would we not do it with a country that is geographically and culturally much nearer to Costa Rica?" Arias also announced that both countries would exchange ambassadors. The next day, Cuba's government announced that it agreed to re-establishing relations.
Until 2006 Costa Rica maintained its embassy in Jerusalem. Since then, it has relocated to Tel Aviv. In December 2011, Rodrigo Carreras became the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel for the second time, after his posting there in the 1980s. Carreras' father, Benjamin Nunez, also served as the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel.
There had been a dispute on Google Maps regarding a forested terrain at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border where border troops of Nicaragua had been stationed, but the countries now have launched a military program with Costa Rica, thus re-establishing cordial relations between the neighbours.
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Republic of India
India and Costa Rica enjoy friendly and cordial relations even though high level bilateral interactions have been minimal. Costa Rica supported India’s stand on Kashmir at the United Nations in 1993 and 1994 and was one of the very few countries that committed themselves towards voting against Pakistan’s draft resolution on Kashmir at the UNCHR in Geneva in 1994. Costa Rica shares commonality of views on all bilateral and multilateral issues except that of the UNSC expansion. Being a member of the Coffee Club, Costa Rica does not support the G-4 Resolution on the UNSC reforms since it does not allegedly promote the interests of the smaller countries.
Costa Rica has an embassy in Moscow. Russia has an embassy in San José. Holders of a Russian passport need a visa authorized by Costa Rica, or alternatively Costa Rican authorities will accept Russian nationals with a visa stamp for the European Union, Canada, USA, South Korea, or Japan valid for 90 days after arrival; with a tourist visa, Russians can stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 90 days. In order to get a tourist visa, the person needs to apply for it in the closest Costa Rican embassy to where the person is living. He/she must have a valid passport and either have an invitation letter or a bank statement with enough money to survive the length of the stay in Costa Rica, plus proof of onward travel (ticket to exit Costa Rica & legal ability to travel to the destination stated on the ticket). Holders of a Costa Rican passport also need a visa from Russian authorities.
The United States is Costa Rica's most important trading partner. The U.S. accounts for almost half of Costa Rica's exports, imports, and tourism, and more than two-thirds of its foreign investment. The two countries share growing concerns for the environment and want to preserve Costa Rica's important tropical resources and prevent environmental degradation. In 2007, the United States reduced Costa Rica's debt in exchange for protection and conservation of Costa Rican forests through a debt for nature swap under the auspices of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. This is the largest such agreement of its kind to date.
- Soto Harrison, Fernando (1991). Que Paso en los Anos Quaranta. San Jose: Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
- Costa Rica switches allegiance to China from Taiwan - Boston.com
- Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba CNN World, 2009-03-18.
- Peres: Israel has fantastic respect for Egyptian president
- Costa Rica se pronuncia por la independencia de Kósovo, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, 2008-02-17 (in Spanish)
- Embassy of the Russian federation in San José
- "Visa Information for Costa Rica: Holders of Normal Passports from Russian Federation". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA).
- List of diplomatic missions in Costa Rica
- List of diplomatic missions of Costa Rica
- Visa requirements for Costa Rican citizens