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Apr 12, 2016

Was Draft Agreement Well Received by Guatemalan Counterparts?

On the face of it, those proposals should be a tough sell considering Guatemala’s recently very aggressive position in the Sarstoon. At the highest levels of government in that republic, the stance has been that the entire river belongs to Guatemala and they will do whatever is necessary to control all area within their sovereign control. That’s a hard line, and if the proposals are accepted it would require a complete about face on the part of our western and southern neighbor. Both Opposition Representative Ambassador Assad Shoman and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington maintain, though, that at least at first glance, the reception to the draft proposals was positive.

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“My own sense was that it was very favorably received really. There were discussions when each head was put forward and based on the discussions that took place, we did not form the view that there was any major difficulty on their part. They seem to, at least initially, have a positive attitude. That’s my sense”

 

Assad Shoman

Assad Shoman, Opposition Representative

“Can I just clarify minister? To make it perfectly clear that what actually happened; what the minister says is correct. But it wasn’t so to speak the plenary that discussed that; in other words, it was a committee, if you like. It composed of Ambassador Rosado, Ambassador Blandon and the two generals. Those four went and they discussed that between them and then we had the plenary with the two foreign ministers, myself, etc. And we just heard their report. They didn’t go into any details; they just said, we have looked at it, we have discussed it, we have exchanged views on it and the Guatemalans said we shall have to take it back to our principals and then report back to you. So that is what actually happened. But as the minister said, from the we heard from that committee, there were no major problems from the Guatemalans with regards to the general scheme that we presented.”

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