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May 26, 2016

A Timeline to Continue Negotiating Sarstoon Protocol is Pretty Much Set

Eamon Courtenay

Both positions are polar opposites, so the next step is actually to the point where concrete protocols enter the equation. We’ve actually been there. On April eighth Belize presented eleven Sarstoon protocols which were promptly and roundly rejected by Guatemala. More than six weeks after, both countries are preparing to get back to that point. Courtenay told us that there’s a relatively concrete timeline which should see the parties sitting across from each other again sometime very soon.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Opposition’s Representative, Belize Delegation

“The agreement in Turkey was that Ambassador Rosado for Belize and Ambassador Roldan for Guatemala are going to propose to their respective ministers a timetable for the negotiations of the protocol and understanding to deal with the Sarstoon. I should say that it was absolutely our position that it’s urgent and I believe that Ambassador Rosado is treating it as urgent and so I would expect fairly shortly for there to be either a proposal or an agreement between the two ambassadors as to how the meetings are going to take place and when. Just by way of further explanation in that regard, I think Guatemala is intending that it covers not only the Sarstoon but for example modes of engagement along the border on the Western border. You know you have heard them talk about different methods to ensure that there is not a shooting of civilians who are unarmed and that sort of thing. So I am sure they want to get into that type of discussion. Whether it is going to be in one bug omnibus agreements or whether there are going to be separate agreements on the separate issues is a matter to be determined. But the point I think that needs to be emphasized is that there is a pressing urgency to deal with the Sarstoon.”

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