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Apr 13, 2016

Funding O.A.S. Adjacency Office is Expensive but Necessary

Wilfred Elrington

While the discussion on the new Sarstoon protocols was no doubt the primary item on the agenda of last Friday’s meeting at the O.A.S., it wasn’t the only one. Both parties, Belize and Guatemala, are also in earnest talks to source funding which will allow the O.A.S. to maintain a presence in the adjacency zone at the western border. It’s an expensive proposition, but from all indications a necessary one.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Reference was made during the meeting to initiatives which we will have to take to try to secure funds to keep the O.A.S. office open, and the suggestion was that because we will be meeting – the Foreign Minister of Guatemala and myself will be going to Taiwan for the inauguration of the new president. We will certainly take that opportunity to try to raise funds and then we are invited to another meeting shortly thereafter in Turkey and the thought was that we would in fact piggyback on that meeting in Taiwan to go to Turkey to try to raise the funds. The government of Belize, the Opposition, the O.A.S. and everyone concerned is very, very interested in ensuring that the O.A.S. presence remains in the adjacency zone, but it costs somewhere in the vicinity of two point five million dollars to keep those people here annually, and we always have to be making every effort to source those funds.”

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