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Mar 17, 2017

P.U.P. lends support to O.A.S.’ role in mediating dispute

The O.A.S. Secretary General, while in Belize City this morning, made a brief visit to Independence Hall where he called on Leader of the Opposition John Briceño.  The discussion was described as hearty, touching on a range of national issues, including the People’s United Party’s position on the forthcoming redistricting and re-registration exercises.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“We want to express our appreciation for the work that the OAS has been doing in Belize and also in the whole process between facilitating the negotiations between Belize and Guatemala.”

 

Reporter

“Can you share specifics or at least give us a broad overview of your conversation today with the Secretary General?”

 

John Briceño

John Briceno

“Well without going into too much of the specifics, certainly we had to address our concerns of the antagonistic behavior of Guatemala, that Guatemala has not been a good neighbor, that Guatemalan citizens continue to plunder our resources, poison our waters.  The issue of the Sarstoon Protocol, so we have all of these issues that need to be addressed and we need to address it as soon as possible and that we find it very difficult for us to be able to move the process forward until Guatemala is prepared to address these issues head on.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Were there any assurances given by the Secretary General that the OAS will continue to be an objective partner in facilitating these dialogues?”

 

John Briceño

“Yes.  They have assured us that that they want to continue to play, to be an objective partner although we did express the concerns that some Belizeans sometimes believe that, [or are of] the view sometimes that the OAS is not as objective as we would expect.  We do believe that they try to be as objective as they can and they have given us that assurance that they want to continue to keep that objectivity in the discussions and negotiations between Belize and Guatemala.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, I know that your party organ’s newspaper has said that the Opposition party was not prepared to go to referendum until there was this re-registration.  Was this communicated to Mr. Luis Almagro today?”

 

John Briceño

“Certainly it was, but I think more importantly that the prime minister has said that there will be no referendum until re-registration.  As you know, the party’s position has been that: one, there must be re-registration before re-division and before we have a referendum.  We have now heard the prime minister announce that there is going to be a re-registration before re-division and before the referendum.  So we definitely do support that.”

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