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Jul 16, 2015

Foreign Minister Sedi Weighs-In on Guatemala’s Protest

On Wednesday night, News Five was the first to report on a formal protest issued by Guatemala in relation to the planned construction of a Forward Operating Base at the mouth of Sarstoon River on the mainland. That protest comes in the wake of an altercation between Guatemalan military and Coast Guard personnel – in which our armed forces were ordered out of our waters by the Guatemalans. That incident unleashed a massive outcry – on the streets if not necessarily in the hallowed halls of government. So the news on Wednesday night can be perceived as adding insult to injury. Today, News Five sat down for an extended interview with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, and got his take on Guatemala’s protest and Belize’s response. 

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of foreign Affairs

“The incident in the Sarstoon was a little bit unusual because normally whenever we do anything along the border we normally notify the Guatemalans whether it has to do with conservation or whether it has to do military. So long as it is going to impact on border regions, the protocol has always been for us to notify the Guatemalans that in fact we are going to do that. Since the Sarstoon incident we have notified them that we are intending to continue to do that. They have some difficulty with that and they have suggested that we discuss the matter at the O.A.S., which is very convenient for us because that has been the protocol. What we can agree upon we normally agree upon. What we have difficulty with we seek to have it resolved at the O.A.S.”

 

Wilfred Elrington

Reporter

“Sir if we could go back to the incident. The last time we spoke you had indicated that a formal note of protest had been sent to Guatemala. Could you take us from that point and any response from Guatemala?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“Normally when we send the note to them if they agree with it they may send a response indicating that they are in agreement with the terms of our note. If they don’t agree with it they simply say that they don’t agree with it. I think with respect to the last notes that we sent, their response is that they don’t necessarily agree with the position that we are taking, which is not unexpected, and that is where most of that has remained. Except in respect of the Forward Operating Base they have indicated and suggested that they would like to have it discussed at the level of the O.A.S., and I think that is convenient for us.”

 

Reporter

“Sir in terms of their indicating that they are not in agreement with the note…what steps would Belize take then because there was an incident which occurred and it was a serious incident?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“We have already discussed it at the National Security Council and the decision of the Council is that we would have the matter resolved through a discussion at the O.A.S.  That is the last official position that we took.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Foreign Minister Sedi Weighs-In on Guatemala’s Protest”

  1. Louisville, KY. says:

    Why is it that every single decision has to get Guatemala’s approval?
    And how is that THEIR, actions and responses are all “convenient for us”? Hmmm!!!

  2. Rod says:

    Sedi the biggest traitor to his country

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