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UPDATED: 11:29, April 17, 2007
Nicaragua, Costa Rica argue over seizure of leisure boat
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Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Samuel Santos on Monday defended the navy's seizure of Costan Rican leisure boat El Privilegio, saying the boat had violated Nicaraguan waters, and rejected Costa Rica's demand for the boat's immediate return.

The boat "was in clear violation of international security norm... No one aboard had verifiable official documentation," Samuel Santos in a statement. Last Tuesday's detention was "in the context of fulfilling fishing resource protection plans and fighting crimes at sea," he added.

He also said that Costa Rica's previous allegation was "an improper territorial claim."

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno on Wednesday accused Nicaraguan military of trespassing Costa Rican waters to seize the boat, and illegitimately detaining four Costa Ricans and two U.S. citizens.

Stagno was also unhappy with recent remarks made by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega who said that Colombia, Honduras and Costa Rica are currently conspiring to pillage Nicaragua's natural resources.

"Naturally my government rejects this... attitude that goes against our nations' historical links of friendship and brotherhood," Stagno said.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua are currently negotiating a treaty over their maritime borders.

Source: Xinhua

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