PANAMA CITY, September 19 (Itar-Tass) - Members of the Central American Integration System (CAIS) (Spanish: SICA) are interested in a meeting between the region's Foreign ministers and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov to discuss prospects for cooperation, Fernando Nunez, Panama's Foreign Minister, told Itar-Tass in an interview on Wednesday. Panama currently presides over CAIS.
"We already have Free Trade agreements with Japan and the European Union and we are interested in concluding such an agreement with Russia," Nunez said. He pointed out that the signing of a relevant document would contribute to expanding the Russian Federation's contacts with the member-countries of CAIS which comprises El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Panam, and thr Dominican Republic. "Cooperation could develop not only in trade but also in other spheres, such as, for example, efforts to ensure security or in fight against organized crime, from which Central American countries suffer," the Panamanian Minister said.
Nunezs pointed out that not so long ago Panama had alreayd proposed the idea of holding such a meeting with Lavrov but the latter had been unable to accept the proposal. "We are leaving the proposal open, and such a meeting could be held in Panama at any time until the end of December when our powers as CAIS presiding country expire," the Panamanian Foreign Minister said.