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Aug 26, 2013

Mexican Foreign Minister Visit: commits to reconstruct City Center

Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena

Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena was in Belize on a brief working visit on Sunday afternoon during which he made a call on Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington at the Biltmore Hotel.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss various ways in which Belize and Mexico can improve bilateral relations.  During the tenure of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a commitment was made by his administration to reconstruct the Belize City Center.  That promise was based on certain stipulations which included Belize’s participation in the construction of an international bridge linking both countries at the Santa Elena border.  That undertaking has since been completed, the bridge inaugurated and President Calderon has demitted office; however, the City Center remains in a state of disrepair.  Meade told the local media that a meeting has been planned to revisit that proposal in an effort to follow through on the agreement.  There was also a discussion on the issue of border security.

 

Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena, Mexican Foreign Minister

“We will set up  a meeting alter on this week to identify where exactly Belize is at in terms of refurbishing its Civic Centre and in which way Mexico can support that effort. That is something that we will be committed to do. We want to be part of that refurbishing of the Civic Center and we want in order to be able to do so, to know exactly where the government of Belize is at and what the government of Belize can do to help. So we agreed to scheduling a meeting between those responsible within the government of Belize and those responsible within the Ministry of Finance in charge of co-operations so that we can work out the details and to what it is that Mexico can do to support that effort. We talked about how security will play a relevant role in what we try to build in the future. Just before this meeting together with the Mexican authorities in terms of the border, we went along the Rio Hondo border to look at first hand as to what the situation was there. We agreed with Minister Elrington that security has to be an important part of our joint agenda and our joint efforts. It is a border that poses challenges, but it is also a border that has many opportunities and it is a border that by working together—Belize and Mexico—we will be able to make it a secure border for citizens on both sides of it. and so that the border is identified not because of its problems, but because of the opportunities that it provides for both our countries. We are going to work on security, we are going to get our border committees to set up an agenda on that specific issue and we will be following through periodically.”

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Foreign Minister

“Belize really is the portal; one of the first line of defense for Mexico in terms of the southernmost border. So as the foreign minister has said that was one of the first topics that we went to in some depth and the commitment is there for us to work together to ensure that our borders are kept safe and secure.”

 

The Mexican delegation led by Minister Meade departed for Cancun following the visit.

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