San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The Vatican has become the ninth extra-regional observer of the Central American Integration System (SICA). The official ceremony was held in San Salvador, at the SICA headquarters, yesterday, on January 21. The Secretary General of SICA, Juan Daniel Alemán, and the Apostolic Nuncio in El Salvador, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, signed the agreement. Alemán stressed that the admission of the Vatican as an observer was approved by the Presidents of the Central American countries of SICA members during the summit held in Managua on December 13 last year. "The Holy See becomes part of that small group of friendly nations that participate in the activities and progress of the integration process with the firm desire to identify areas of common interest, define the mechanism of cooperation and contribute to the development of our region" stressed Juan Daniel Alemán, according to the note sent to Fides Agency. "The interest of the international community for the SICA demonstrates its confidence in the integration process," he added.
His Exc. Mgr. Pezzuto stressed that the Holy See and the local Catholic Churches of Central America "have the best intentions towards cooperation, so that the desired goal can be achieved, with great success, which is the union of all the nations of Central America "
The SICA is composed of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama and the Dominican Republic. It has six regional observers (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, United States, Mexico, Peru) and nine outside the region (Australia, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Vatican City, France, Italy, Japan and Taiwan). (CE) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2013)