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Dec 14, 2016

Sedi Still Working on Sarstoon Protocol as Guatemalans Thaw

The Sarstoon Protocol continues to hang in the air. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington says there’s been some incremental gains in dialogue, but he wouldn’t share much more on where those conversations are headed. Elrington maintains that Belize is very clear as it relates to what we want out of the Sarstoon Protocol, but it is a matter of getting together. Elrington says he remains hopeful although we are already mid-December. We asked him for an update today. Here’s what he had to say:

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Well, I can’t say to you that there is an indication that it will happen. At the same time, I have heard nothing to suggest that it will not happen. And, while we are at the mid-December point, December has not yet ended so I am hopeful. I am always hopeful and optimistic that in fact we will have some word to give to the nation before the end of the year. We are very clear in our minds what is it that we would want to have. There is a 2005 agreement, a framework for confidence building, a similar kind of thing. We are very clear in our minds as to what we want and they are also clear in their minds as to what needs to be done. It is only a matter of sitting down andformalizing it. But we are working on it. It is a work in progress.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You say that you are hopeful, but if we get to the end of December and Belizeans don’t see this protocol signed, do you see this as a bad sign?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“No. No. Never at all. These kinds of relationships can be protracted. Sometimes you make speed and other times it becomes protracted. The important thing is that we continue to use the waterway peacefully, and there is no negative occurrence; there is no buildup of hostility, that kind of thing. The important thing is that we can continue to use the river normally without any interference. That I am happy is happening and that we are resolve will try to ensure will always happen until we go and have this matter resolved one way or another.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Since the last incident when the child was killed; the teenage boy, relations got a little bit strained in terms of the conversation. Since then to now- as in the past week or two weeks has there been any indication of them wanting to talk, to dialogue?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“Some. Some. There has been some indication but ummm…”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are you able to say to what [extent]?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“In due course I will hopefully be freer to expound on that. At this point in time I am not in a position to do that.”

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