A possible cross-continent canal in Nicaragua is not relevant to a ruling by the world court over disputed territory in the Caribbean Sea, said Colombia’s foreign minister of foreign affairs on Monday.
Minister Maria Angela Holguin responded to Nicaragua’s National Assembly who on June 13 approved the development and infrastructure of the canal, linking deep water ports in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
The minister however, refused to link the developments with the ruling in the International Court of Justice, stating that the Central American country has had the intention of developing the canal “for many years.”
In November of last year, The Hague ruled on a long standing maritime dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua. Although Colombia was granted sovereignty over several islands, Nicaragua were the beneficiaries of a shifting of boundary lines between the two countries, effectively doubling their economic zone in the Caribbean Sea, making the construction of the proposed canal less complex.
Colombia responded to the ruling by withdrawing from the the 1948 pact of Bogota, preventing any future disputes in Colombia being brought to the ICJ on the basis of that treaty.
Although there is no method in which to appeal the ICJ’s judgement, the Colombian government have remained hopeful and Holgain was keen to stress to the Colombian people that “the fact that we are not publicizing anything, does not mean we are not doing anything.”
When asked about the relationship between the two countries, the foreign minister stated ‘it is not a close relationship, nor has it been for many years. There is no agenda however and we meet periodically.’
- Canciller María Ángela Holguín rindió cuentas sobre las actividades del Sector de Relaciones Exteriores de enero de 2012 a junio de 2013 (Foreign Ministry)
- APRUEBAN LEY ESPECIAL PARA EL DESARROLLO DE INFRAESTRUCTURA Y TRANSPORTE NICARAGÜENSE ATINGENTE A EL CANAL (Nicaragua National Assembly)
- Territorial and Maritime dispute Nicaragua v Colombia (International court of Justice)