ACCESSION NUMBER:308197 FILE ID:LEF207 DATE:10/19/93 TITLE:NICARAGUAN CALLS FOR AID, AND TIME, TO HEAL WOUNDS (10/19/93) TEXT:*93101907.LEF *LEF207 10/19/93 NICARAGUAN CALLS FOR AID, AND TIME, TO HEAL WOUNDS (Pallais urges international donors to be patient) dc (490) (With Lsi209 of 10/19/93) By Daniel Cento USIA Staff Writer WASHINGTON -- Nicaragua is in urgent need of foreign aid, but international donors must allow more time for the government's policy of national reconciliation to show results, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Pallais. At an Oct. 19 news conference at the Nicaraguan Embassy here, he cited Nicaragua's long list of political, economic, and social problems. Nicaragua, Pallais said, faces the highest foreign debt per capita of any country in the world, terrorism, insurrection by former combatants in the civil war, and a host of other crises that merit patience from the international community. The government of President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro is making appropriate reforms but "the government can't do everything by itself. We need the participation of all Nicaraguans and this, perhaps, is the most difficult challenge we have before us." Pallais cited Chamorro's Sept. 2 announcement of her intention to bring the military under civilian control, the Oct. 15 creation of a new Bureau of Intelligence Affairs under the Ministry of the Presidency, reforms to create a free-market economy, and changes that will make the national police more responsive to the public. But the institutionalization of these reforms will take time, he said. "In our country, we don't have an established tradition of working together for the good of our country," Pallais said with some frustration. "We have had a tradition of total confrontation for more than 100 years.... Our task of national reconciliation through dialogue is costing a lot, despite our efforts." Nicaragua's ambassador to the United States, Roberto Mayorga, added that without the rapid disbursement of $40 million from the U.S. Agency for 1nternational Development (AID), economic reform plans could be "endangered." Nicaragua is also seeking the payment of another $25 million in aid already promised by the Inter-American Development Bank and $25 million from the World Bank. The disbursement of these $90 million has been held up pending "structural reform," which is underway in Nicaragua, said Pallais. "For the first time, (opposing) groups are sitting face to face discussing their political differences" bilaterally, he said. Trilateral negotiations -- a move that would encourage foreign aid -- among the government, the Sandinistas, and the United Nicaraguan Opposition (UNO) which once supported but has since broken with Chamorro can be expected, according to Pallais. "We recognize that the government has a lot more to do and contribute to ... this ideal (of national reconciliation) that President Chamorro is strongly committed to," he added. Mayorga asked international financial institutions, especially the IDB, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, to be "more flexible" with Nicaragua. We want a "workable" agreement, he said, emphasizing the "enormous difficulty of achieving consensus in Nicaragua... Political positions all too often supersede the needs" of the country. NNNN .