Remarks to Reporters Announcing the Central American Peace Initiative

 

August 5, 1987

 

Good morning. I have a very brief statement to read here, and then I am going to have to depart, and the Secretary of State is going to take some of your questions here with regard to this event.

 

I've just concluded a meeting with the joint congressional leadership, and I'm pleased to announce that there's a general agreement among us to go forward with a renewed diplomatic initiative in Central America along the lines of the peace plan prepared in cooperation with the Speaker and the joint congressional leadership. Accordingly, I've instructed the Secretary of State to transmit that document to the leaders of the five Central American countries that are meeting in Guatemala City tomorrow with the request that these views should be taken into account in their deliberations.

 

As I said at Ellis Island several months ago, this administration has always supported regional diplomatic initiatives aimed at peace and democracy. The aspirations of our Central American neighbors, the democratic resistance in Nicaragua, and the Nicaraguan people are one and the same: the establishment of genuinely democratic systems throughout the region with the fully guaranteed liberties of free assembly, free speech, free press, and the simple principle of self-determination.

 

I applaud this bipartisan effort in Congress, and I express the hope that it will produce a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Nicaragua. I urge other nations of the world to join in the support of this effort and refrain from activities that would jeopardize it.

 

Note: The President spoke at 11:50 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Jim Wright, Speaker of the House of Representatives.