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Jun 16, 2016

Mixed Interpretations on Agreement in the Sarstoon Following Istanbul Talks

As we’ve shown you, our news team traveled south to the Sarstoon River where they were turned back by the Guatemalan Armed Forces.  While that was taking place this morning, another team was at the P.G.I.A. awaiting the arrival of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington who returned today from the O.A.S. General Assembly in the Dominican Republic.  We took the opportunity to ask Elrington about the Guatemalan diplomatic note. That note refers to a previous trip made by News Five to the area just days after talks were held between Belize and Guatemala in Istanbul.  Minister Elrington says he hopes this situation will soon be cleared.

 

Isani Cayetano

“A few days ago, a diplomatic note sent by Guatemala surfaced in the media and this has to do with the last trip that was taken to the Sarstoon area.  Now our news team is presently returning from Sarstoon this morning and they were turned back, from what I was made to understand.  What is taking place insofar as the understanding?  I mean the P.U.P. were there a week or so ago and nothing seem to have gone wrong in terms of them being allowed untrammeled passage in the area and we tried it again this week and there was no progress on our end.  What is taking place as far as you know with regards to the military in that area and allowing the free movement of Belizeans or other folks in the area?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“It was my own understanding that the historical position where we had free and untrammeled access to the area would have been put back in place.  I think the finality of that would have been the conclusion of new mechanism.  I think once the new mechanism is in place then we’ll have a very clear, clear, unambiguous position with respect to it.  The Guatemalans seem to have some difficulty in terms of either understanding the agreements we arrived at or of transmitting it to their own people.  I think that that is going to be sorted out before too long.  I am hoping that we would be able to move on that fast so that we won’t have these incidents recurring.”

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