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May 26, 2016

Ambassador Courtenay Says O.A.S. Has Critical Role in Discussions

Eamon Courtenay

The incident in Chiquibul in which a Guatemalan minor was shot also made it to the negotiating table in Istanbul. Following that incident, Guatemalan officials including President Jimmy Morales, Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales and Defense Minister Williams Mansilla unleashed a blistering condemnation of Belize and at one point even lashed out at Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In response at a press conference recently Barrow would say only that he won’t go down that road since that sort of incendiary commentary contravenes the confidence building measures. We asked Courtenay if that was brought up at the meeting in Istanbul, perhaps by the O.A.S. which was represented.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Opposition’s Representative, Belize Delegation

“We believe that the O.A.S. is key because when you have a situation like this where you have two countries that have positions that are completely opposite to each other and on the face intractable, you need somebody who has some good offices to try to carry messages between the parties, to try to move the parties forward, to ensure that what is said at the meetings is accurately reported and recorded so that there can be no mistake between the parties, so the O.A.S. will continue to be deeply involved in the process and we believe that they have a very important role. As to the question of their view and the statements, I believe that the Secretary-General of the O.A.S. has already issued a press release in which he has called on both parties to comply with the confidence building measure in terms of public statements and I think that you can read into that exactly who he was speaking to.”

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