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Oct 16, 2014

O.A.S. Office in Adjacency Zone in Need of Financing

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

While former C.E.O. Alexis Rosado is just getting his feet wet as Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala, he attended a diplomatic meeting this past Wednesday where he sat with Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Moralez and EU Director of the Americas Roland Schafer to discuss a number of issues between both countries.  Chief among them is the funding of the O.A.S. office at the Adjacency Zone.  The administrative center is quickly running out of finances and it is expected that its resources will be depleted by early November should a donor organization not step in to assist with operational costs.  According to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, both countries would be willing to assist in defraying expenses; however, to preserve the integrity of the OAS they are turning to the EU for assistance.

 

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Guatemalan Foreign Minister hosted a working lunch yesterday on the occasion of the visit of the EU Director of the Americas, Mr. Roland Schafer, who was accompanied by the EU Ambassador to Guatemala Estella Zervoudaki.  The Guatemalan delegation was led by Director Mr. Jose Alberto Briz, supported by advisor Dr. Letona and ambassador to the EU Skinner Klee.  Margaret Juan accompanied Alexis Rosado for Belize and Ambassador Raul Lago and Magdalena Talamas were there for the OAS.  Basically, it says in a lengthy discussion, Belize, Guatemala and the OAS explained to the EU delegation how the process is moving forward.  They gave them an update, they also informed them of the fact that the funding for the OAS office is drying up.  That office may not have funding by November if in fact the group of friends don’t come up and give the money to finance it and they reiterated Belize and Guatemala’s position that we are prepared to provide financing for the OAS office but we don’t want to do that because we don’t want to cause any impression to be created that we are influencing the OAS.  They are supposed to be an independent mediator.  The people from the EU are looking positively at in fact continuing to finance the process, finding ways and projects that they could finance to cause the project to be financed.  The European Union, like every right thinking person in the world, wants to see peace and harmony prevail in Belize.”

 

But one of the most important points coming out of that meeting is Ambassador Rosado was confidentially informed that the Guatemalan government is exploring the possibility of holding the much delayed ICJ referendum in September 2015, to coincide with the first round of general elections. Previously, Guatemala had been asking to change the referendum act or not to have a simultaneous poll.

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