El Salvador presses rights action
San Salvador — While the US Congress discusses certifying continued aid to El Salvador, that country is reportedly taking measures to guarantee human rights there.
El Salvador's major political parties signed a pact pledging action to prop up the ''national unity government,'' including a measure to hold talks with leftists.
Leaders of the extreme rightist National Republican Alliance Party and the moderate Christian Democrats joined other parties in signing the pact, which proposed setting a timetable to hold new elections. Although the pact stopped short of calling for an actual negotiated settlement with insurgents fighting the US-backed government, it does include the Salvadoran Red Cross and the Roman Catholic Church in talks with the leftists.
Western diplomats have said provisional president Alvaro Magana hoped the pact would ease the drafting of a new constitution, since bickering in the Constituent Assembly has threatened government unity.
The political parties also agreed to establish a new commission to recommend measures to guarantee human rights.
In another development, the Salvadoran Defense Ministry claimed government opponents had kidnapped a US-born human rights activist, Patricia Cuellar, and her father, a Salvadoran businessman. A ministry communique said the kidnapping is an apparent attempt to discredit President Reagan's move to certify that El Salvador qualifies for further aid.