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Mar 17, 2016

Assad Shoman Weighs in on BTV and Sarstoon Debacle

Assad Shoman

Ambassador Assad Shoman is a member of the current negotiating team, and negotiating teams of the past. In fact, he is perhaps the most experienced member on that team. He gave us his input on what has changed in the negotiating atmosphere, and also his view on blaming the BTV for increased aggression in the Sarstoon.


Assad Shoman, Member of Belize Delegation

“I would not say that it is because of the acts of the territorial volunteers that Guatemala has been taking that position on the Sarstoon. For many years Guatemala has taken that position. As the minister rightly said and we all know, their claim over the entire country is longstanding. Our position has also been longstanding that we have been sure of our sovereignty over all of our territory. With respect to the Sarstoon, we have no doubt that the line agreed by the British and the Guatemalans runs under the isle of the Sarstoon and along the mid channel and we have never wavered from that position. Guatemala’s position that the river belongs to them; that to me is new, that is relatively new. I have looked at negotiations that we taking place long before I even began to be part of them and yes they’ve always discussed the Sarstoon and what does mid channel mean because in Spanish they say something else. The Spanish version and the English version where does it lie and so on, but never have I heard them say the whole river is ours, which is what they are saying now. So that is a difference and it is one that we have to take very seriously. I think the government is taking it very seriously and the government is saying this is where our border lies; the way the treaty has defined it. And the way that several maps published by the British, for example, since the ‘70s and ‘80s which to my knowledge have never been protested by the Guatemalan government. So we have very strong grounds on that. So you have these incidents taking place. I blame the Guatemalan Armed Forces for that. And what are you going to do about it? The minister went there and he made it clear that the objective of Belize is to extend the confidence building measures to the Sarstoon area as well. Whatever you call it, let’s have some kind of agreement similar to the one that we have. What is it we have along the western border? That they agree that’s the border? No. but that they agree that that’s the line that they cannot cross. And we want that same agreement in the Sarstoon.”

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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3 Responses for “Assad Shoman Weighs in on BTV and Sarstoon Debacle”

  1. Joe says:

    This guy know, while elrinton is lost and worst than price a big sell out.

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    mein sedi really sucks at doing his job, not to flare racial issue but really I feel that if sedi would be a mestizo he would probably be able to do his job by understanding his spanish speaking counterparts. Bet he cant even say “buenos dias” really that’s the problem it seems lack of good communication, bet the curse him up during meetings and he thinks he is being thumbs up lol

  3. Steve says:

    I vote that we take away the hefty salary we are paying Sedi in government and rather pay it to Assad Shoman. Sedi is failing us miserably, while Assad is talking sense big-time. Let the upcoming salary deposits with all perks go to Assad’s bank account. Sedi, you can go home. Just be informed that the people of Belize may call you back soon to interrogate you on your possible dealings with the Guatemalans. So, hang around, don’t go far away.

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