Panama Joins Colombia in Nicaragua Territory Spat

PANAMA CITY – Panama’ s President
Ricardo Martinelli says his government
will join others to Panama ’s President
Ricardo Martinelli says his government
will join others to face Nicaragua ’s
territorial claims .
“ We will fight as a country individually or
jointly . We cannot allow that Nicaragua,
which is very far from here, want to take
Panamanian territorial seas, ” the
presisdent told reporters after a rally in
the capital.
Martinelli confirmed his country will sign ,
next to Colombia , Costa Rica and
Jamaica, a letter Colombian President
Juan Manuel Santos will hand personally
at the end of this month to UN Secretary
General Ban Ki - moon.
“ Yes, Panama as well ( will sign the
letter ) because it seems that Nicaragua
wants to take all of the territorial waters
belonging to those countries and
Panama, ” Martinelli said .
“ What they (Nicaragua ) are asking , they
almost want to reach the city of
Columbus (on Panama’s Caribbean coast)
and that has no basis ,” he added .
On November 22, Panama’s Foreign
Ministry announced it “thoroughly ”
reviewed a ruling that was issued three
days before the International Court of
Justice (ICJ) on the dispute between
Nicaragua and Colombia, which redefined
the maritime borders of the two
countries in the Caribbean.
Panama’s Foreign Ministry then said he
was checking if the ICJ ruling affected
“in any way” the interests of the country ,
without having officially known the result
of the analysis .
The ICJ decision left Colombia seven keys
of the archipelago of San Andrés, whose
major islands had already been ruled to
belong to that nation in 2007 . Nicaragua
was granted a strip of sea estimated to
be 75, 000 square kilometers .
Following the ruling, Nicaragua delivered
information to the UN on information on
what it considers its continental shelf,
which would extend beyond 200 nautical
miles from its coast .