Joint Communique Following Discussions With President Alvaro Alfredo Magana Borjo of El Salvador in San Jose, Costa Rica

December 3, 1982

On December 3, 1982 in the City of San Jose, Costa Rica, the Presidents of El Salvador, Dr. Alvaro Magana, and of the United States of America, Mr. Ronald Reagan, met and had a cordial exchange of views about subjects of mutual interest.

President Reagan praised the bravery of the Salvadoran people and their belief in democratic ideals as manifested in the recent elections and in the Salvadoran decision to hold Presidential elections no later than March, 1984. He expressed appreciation for efforts of the Salvadoran Government to reduce the number of deaths caused by violence, despite the opposition of anti-democratic forces. He also indicated his satisfaction with the continuation of the land reform program.

The Salvadoran leader pointed out the desire of his government for peaceful development and full observance of human rights. He noted the creation of the Commission on Human Rights and the formation of a Peace Commission charged with proposing a practical plan for the participation of all citizens and political movements in the democratic process.

President Magana suggested that as important as the efforts that each country makes internally to correct its structural economic problems is an international economic situation which encourages full development of that country's human and natural resources. In this regard, he praised the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative and expressed the hope that the trade and investment provisions would be approved quickly by the U.S. Congress.

President Reagan referred to the interest of the American people and government in cooperating with the Salvadoran Government in its internal efforts. He stressed his concern about the prosecution of those implicated in the murder of American citizens in El Salvador and asked for unstinting efforts to prosecute those responsible for the deaths of the American Churchwomen and the AFL - CIO consultants and the disappearance of other American citizens.

Both leaders also examined the situation in Central America and expressed concern for the increase of tensions in the area. They rejected the use of force in the resolution of bilateral conflicts, interference in the internal affairs of other countries and the violent imposition of alien ideologies and systems rejected by democratic societies. President Magana emphasized the need for all countries to respect the principle of self-determination as exercised by the Salvadoran people in the elections of March 28. He noted that this principle is fundamental to the peaceful coexistence of peoples. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the Final Act of the October 4 San Jose conference of democratic nations -- principles which, in their opinion, represent the best hope for peace in Central America.

The two leaders agreed to maintain direct contact in order to further high levels of bilateral cooperation.

Given in San Jose, Costa Rica, December 3, 1982.