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May 15, 2015

Opposition Representative Will Be Absent from Witnessing Special Agreement Amendment

Wilfred Elrington

A delegation led by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington leaves for Guatemala City next weekend where they will witness the signing of the revised Special Agreement on May twenty-fifth.  The amended Compromis, as News Five has reported, will allow Guatemala to hold an individual referendum presumably by November.  The national poll will determine whether the issue of the age-old territorial dispute will be brought before the International Court of Justice.  While the mission has in the past included Senator Lisa Shoman as representative of the opposition since the dispute has been treated with a bipartisan approach, we have been told that the senator will not be part of the delegation to Guatemala this time around.  Earlier today, Minister Elrington confirmed that information in an interview with News Five.


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Further to the interview I gave to you earlier this week, my understanding is that we are scheduled to do the signing next week Monday, not this Monday coming [but] the following Monday which is the twenty-fifth and that it is going to be witnessed by the current Secretary General Insulza and the new Secretary General Almagro and we are going to be doing it in Guatemala City.  We had hoped to have a member of the People’s United Party present, as is usually the case, Ms. Lisa Shoman has always been with us but I saw a communication from her this morning suggesting that she would not be able to go.  I do not know whether in fact another person in the party would be delegated to do that.  The last time when she could not go the honorable John Briceno attended with us in Washington.  I’m hoping that he, perhaps, could be asked to attend again.  This is a matter which the entire Belize/Guatemala issue has always been dealt with on a national basis, it’s not partisan.  So whether UDP is in office or PUP is in office, whenever we did anything with Guatemala it was always as a united country and we’d like to keep it that way.  So I am hoping that there would be somebody from the People’s United Party present but they have been informed of the process all along.  So I will journey to Guatemala along with our CEO Lawrence Sylvester and do the signing on Monday.”

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