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May 4, 2016

Was the Sarstoon Discussed in Washington?

That very interesting and passionate release from Guatemala also took another turn, in between furious rant and commitment to peaceful resolution. It makes reference to the bi-lateral meeting between Belize and Guatemala held on Tuesday, stating that, “there was a meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries, in which this and other matters relevant to our bilateral relations were discussed in a positive environment, which is not reflected in the statements of Prime Minister Barrow.” When asked about the agenda of the meeting, the PM explained on Tuesday that the most compelling discussion would be on the Sarstoon. But the release from Guatemala does not make any mention of the Sarstoon. We note also for context that the last time the Sarstoon was the supposed primary topic of discussion, Guatemala’s side showed up at O.A.S. Headquarters in Washington did not put the Sarstoon on the agenda. More recently, at the Adjacency Zone, they attended the meeting empty-handed without presenting their proposals for the Sarstoon. But Guatemala aside, we note also that there is no Opposition representative present for these very critical discussions. Prime Minister Barrow explained why.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“That is for the very simple reason that we did not get the meetings until Monday…I believe is when Ambassador Andrews called me at 5:00 in the morning to say that he just had a communication from the State Department giving me the times for the meetings. Now we had been trying before Monday…in fact pretty much all weekend to set up the meetings and the Foreign Minister who was to have overnighted in Miami Saturday and come back to Belize on Sunday…or was to have overnighted on Sunday and come back to Belize on Monday was asked to hold on in Miami so that we could make certain that we get these meetings. He was then once the meetings were confirmed asked to go directly from Miami to Washington. Alexis Rosado was in Guatemala and I think I spoke to him on either Saturday or Sunday at which time again the meetings were not confirmed, but I nevertheless told him to make preparations to be immediately available for travel should the meetings be confirmed. That is the reason why in such an incredibly fluid moment by moment situation we did not get a chance to involve the Opposition.”

 

Also present at the meetings in Washington is Ministry of National Security C.E.O. retired Colonel George Lovell. We are told he left Belize for Washington on Monday after the meetings were finalized that morning. We’ll have more on the Sarstoon later in the newscast.

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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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