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Feb 26, 2013

Foreign Affairs says P.U.P. and U.D.P. leaders clarified maritime area

Alexis Rosado

Foreign Minister Elrington also discussed the Maritime Areas Act.  On February eleventh, Minister Elrington said, “The only place I think there is room for some surprise would have to be in the sea area or perhaps in the insular area because those are not yet defined.”  That comment triggered the wrath of former Foreign Minister and Attorney General, Eamon Courtenay. Courtenay said that the statement meant that Elrington was by virtue of that interview, not asserting the full extent of our sovereignty.  He further stated that the Minister should have amended the Maritime Areas Act to claim the full amount of our territorial sea. The C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, however,  says that the maritime boundaries were clarified in statements delivered to the United Nations by former Prime Minister Said Musa in 1992 and also by Dean Barrow, when he was the Foreign Minister.

 

Alexis Rosado, C.E.O., Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“I could only respond to the point with respect to the maritime areas act and the suggestion was that since we signed special agreement, the government of Belize should have made a declaration or should have made efforts to amend the maritime areas act in order to declare our maritime boundary in accordance with international law. And that is the point that the minister referred to that we knew very well from the get go that in fact, the law itself clearly defined the maritime boundaries up to the median line if there is no final settlement by negotiation with Guatemala. Remember the maritime areas act was passed in order to allow a space for a negotiated settlement with Guatemala. That did not happen. The maritime areas act contemplated the possibility that that would not happen. So it made sure that it left clear that should there be no settlement by negotiation on the maritime areas, then international laws will apply to our boundary delimitation in that respect. And that is what really we clarified. It is not just an interpretation of the act itself, it is also clarified by the declarations by the then foreign minister back in 1992, Said Musa, whose statement is registered at the United Nations and really it was circulated to all the members of the United Nations. Subsequent to that, Foreign Minister Dean Barrow, at the time, also referred to the Musa declaration, but added and clarified some more our position. And that too is registered in the United Nations and again all members of the United Nations received copies of that statement. So in that respect it was very clear what our position as a state is and has been and that remains our interpretation.”

 

The Maritime Areas Act is likely to also take prominence in the process leading up to the Referendum on October sixth. 

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1 Response for “Foreign Affairs says P.U.P. and U.D.P. leaders clarified maritime area”

  1. Storm says:

    I hope he speaks the truth. We’ll see. I’m confident the sentiment of the great majority of Belizeans is to defend every square inch of our territory on land and sea.

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