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May 17, 2019

P.U.P. to Support G.O.B.’s Amendments to Maritime Areas Act

John Briceño

On Monday, government will introduce the Maritime Areas Act (Amendment) Bill during a special Sitting of the House of Representatives. In the amendment, the government will claim all of Belize’s territorial waters. The 1992 Act was crafted during negotiations between Belize and Guatemala. At the time, the Maritime Areas Act was passed in order to try to arrive at a negotiating settlement and as such, Belize did not claim all its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone from the Sarstoon to Ranguana Cayes. Since both countries have agreed to take the dispute to the I.C.J., Belize will now claim all its territorial sea, twelve miles as permitted under international law. Today, prior to the House Sitting, the P.U.P. National Party Council met to discuss the amendment. According to Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, the public can expect that the P.U.P. will support the amendments.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“On the Maritime Areas amendment bill I think it will go through all three stages on Monday. As you all know the People’s United Party has been very clear when we took out the People’s Declaration where we said that one of the recommendations slash demands that we were making was the amendments of the Maritime Areas act where we can claim the entire maritime areas as afforded under international law. So we had that discussion this afternoon. Obviously then we as a party or parliamentarians are prepared to go and support that. Ironically, it is pretty much identical to the bill that Senator Courtenay presented in the Senate last year. So, I don’t see us opposing to those amendments.”


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