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Honduran F.m. Seeks Possibility of Upgrading Relations with Israel

Visiting Honduran Foreign Minister Dr. Edgardo Paz Barnica met today with Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Yitzhak Shamir and discussed the possibilities of upgrading diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Barnica told reporters after the meeting that there existed a mutual interest in the establishment of direct relations between Israel and Honduras, and said he hoped to set up an Embassy in Tel Aviv. No date was specified.

The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 1948. However, at the present time there is no direct representation at the Ambassadorial level. Israel’s interests in Honduras are handled by the Israeli Ambassador in neighboring Guatemala.

The two Foreign Ministers also discussed 12 projects, ranging over the fields of agriculture, telecommunications and industry for possible cooperation between the two countries.

Barnica, who arrived in Israel yesterday after a brief visit to Cairo, reacted to charges by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that Israel was aiding the U.S.-backed Contra rebel forces operating from Honduran territory against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He said Nicaragua had its own political problems and that Honduras was accustomed to such accusations as those leveled by Ortega in the interview published in Haaretz last week. According to Barnica, Nicaragua has been totally radicalized, a situation he said threatened the stability and peace in Central America.

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