Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan met this afternoon with President Luis Guillermo Solis, at the presidential palace in Zapote
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (roght) met Friday afternoon with President Luis Guillermo Solis (left) at the Casa Presidencial in Zapote.

QCOSTARICA – A visit by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Costa Rica paved the way for closer trade ties between the two countries, especially in the areas of tourism and sustainable energy.

During the first official visit ever to Costa Rica by a UAE foreign minister, Al Nahyan and his Costa Rican counterpart and host, Manuel González, signed two agreements, one of them refers to air services, air transport, which would focus primarily on facilitating the transfer of  cargo by Costa Rican exporters to countries in the Middle East.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís (centre-right) received United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (centre-left) in the presidential palace in San José on Friday Feb. 12. Credit: Diego Arguedas Ortiz/IPS
Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís (centre-right) receives United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (centre-left) on Friday at Casa Presidencial.

They also agreed to immediately begin the process of negotiating and promoting investment in tourism, to boost visits by Emirati tourists to Costa Rica.

“I think you have a wonderful, beautiful country,” theUAE foreign minister said in a press conference at the end of his meeting with president Luis Guillermo Soli. “Of course, there is the problem of the distance between us, but I believe that after opening the air route between Dubai and Panama City, it will be easier to get back and forth between our countries.”


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He was referring to the new Emirates airlines route from Panama City (Panama) and Bogota (Colombia) that will start next month as the world’s longest flight – nearly 18 hours – according to the company.  A flight between San Jose and Panama City is less than one hour, to Bogota about 2 hours.  Both routes served by Panama’s Copa and Colombia’s Avianca airlines.

Al Nahyan also announced that mechanisms would be sought to facilitate visas between the two countries, in order to expedite trade.

“We have to work hard with my colleague, the Costa Rican Foreign Minister (Manuel González) to talk with managers of airlines and make things come to fruition,”  he s on his one-day visit to San José on Friday Feb. 12.

A flight between Panama City and San José takes less than one hour, and more and more airlines are connecting the two cities.


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