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Apr 26, 2016

What’s the Role of SouthCom in Belize/Guatemala Situation?

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister explained that he understands that when the country is under threat people want immediate action, but the events of this past few days have underscored the importance of continued talks, and continued lines of communication…with the US Southern Command, for example. SouthCom and the US, says the PM, have continued to play an essential role in the journey towards peace between Belize and Guatemala.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“One such line of communication that is absolutely critical and that has served us in good stem is the line of communication between our General Jones and his opposition number, General Perez. Their first meeting after General Perez took over was held in the margin of a U.S. SouthCom Conference in San Antonio and it is no secret that their exchange was witnessed, if not exactly participated in, by the Americans who hosted the conference. And again, the goodwill that was generated on that occasion, the Americans no doubt feel they helped to midwife, to birth, and both for that reason—and generally because they do have an overriding interest in security matters in their backyard—SouthCom continues to play a constructive role in helping to cement the relationship between the two generals and in helping to weigh in when it appears that things are in danger of going awry. Without telling things out of school, I am satisfied that SouthCom and the Americans are continuing to play an extremely constructive role in saying to Guatemala and to Belize, we can absolutely not afford to have any breach of the peace. Issues including the Sarstoon must be solved and it must be solved on the basis of mutual respect and stability and tranquility in the area. So we absolutely welcome that.”

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