El Salvador presses rights action

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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.

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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.

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