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Jun 2, 2005

P.M.: Referendum necessary for World Court decision

Story PictureAnd while the D.F.C. inquiry is the subject of controversy on the domestic front, in terms of international relations, the Government of Belize does appear to be exploring its options for settling the Guatemala claim. Recently, the Prime Minister told the Jamaica Observer that Belize would consider going to the International Court of Justice if necessary. This evening, the People’s United Party television show “Forefront”, contains an interview with the Prime Minister who shares his views. He says that before any decision is made, the people of Belize would have to be consulted. Here is an excerpt of that conversation with the Press Office’s Mike Rudon.

Prime Minister Said Musa
?For relations with Guatemala, I should make it clear that we are prepared to continue the dialogue with Guatemala to peacefully resolve our differences as two sovereign nations respecting each other?s territorial integrity. We are prepared to work under the auspices of the O.A.S. to maintain peace and stability along our borders. At the end of the day, however, we have to recognise that up until now Guatemala has refused to recognise and accept the territorial integrity of Belize. And so we have to start thinking of other alternatives, where do we go from here. And one such alternative is to take the matter to the International Court of Justice, where we believe that Belize has a very strong case.?

?Before that can happen, two things much take place. Firstly, both parties would have to agree to go to court; this is how the I.C.J. works. And secondly, most importantly, the Belizean people would have the say, they would have to decide in a referendum if we are to go to court.?

That footage comes courtesy of the Belize Government Press Office. You can see the entire interview tonight during the programme “Forefront”, which starts at nine, right here on Channel Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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