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May 7, 1998

The installation of Costa Rica's new president, set for Friday, is yet "another very important manifestation" of strong democracy in the region, says the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Ambassador Christopher R. Thomas, who will represent the hemispheric organization at President Miguel Angel Rodriguez swearing-in Friday, said "we are happy to note the continued strengthening of democracy as indeed represented by another peaceful transfer of power."

The new president was elected last February 1 to succeed José María Figueres.

While in Costa Rica, the OAS deputy chief will also meet with the new foreign minister. Ambassador Thomas leaves Washington for Costa Rica on Thursday.

The OAS official is also likely to travel to Suriname for the meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers of foreign Affairs next Tuesday. Ambassador Thomas is expected to make a presentation on OAS-CARICOM cooperation, a follow-up to the summit between the two organizations at the OAS' Washington headquarters late April.

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