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May 18, 2016

FM Elrington Meets With Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize

Baroness Patricia Scotland

There is support coming from the Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on the territorial integrity of Belize. After weeks of tension between Belize and Guatemala since the death of Julio Alvarado Ruano, the government has been seeking support from its allies.  Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington met with the committee to discuss recent events happening within the Adjacency Zone.  That meeting comes just a few weeks after the visit of Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Janet Scotland during which the border issue, as well as the territorial claim, was discussed.  On Monday, Foreign Minister Elrington briefed the committee, chaired by Senator Maxine McClean along with representatives from Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia and several other countries.  The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee has since provided its traditional support for Belize’s territorial integrity, as well as its sovereignty.  The 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government similarly expressed support at its last summit.  Both Belize and Guatemala are encouraged to continue to dialogue and fulfill the terms of agreements met in 2005 and 2008. As a side note, Elrington will be in London following his Istanbul, Turkey trip. He will be joined by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales to lobby for funds to keep the OAS’s office at the Adjacency Zone, open.

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