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Sep 27, 2022

PM Highlights Recent Sarstoon River Standoff, During O.A.S. Protocolary Session

Prime Minister John Briceño addressed the Protocolary Session of the Organization of American States on Monday, in Washington D.C. In his speech, he reiterated the important role of the O.A.S. in the territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize, while noting Belize’s hope for a peaceful solution at the International Court of Justice. P.M. Briceño also raised the recent standoff between Belizeans and the Guatemalan Armed Forces in the Sarstoon River. Here is a brief look at his address.


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“It is important to highlight the critical role of the office of the OAS in the agency zone. It is supporting the two countries to maintain their commitment under the confidence building measures. We thank the OAS, particularly the Secretary General for continued commitment for this process. I wish to mention however, that the challenges along Belize’s western border, and maritime border, remains. These include increases in agricultural encroachments, deforestation for cattle grazing, the establishment of illegal settlements, illegal gold panning, and poaching of endangered birds and animals by Guatemalan civilians within Belizean territory. Quite recently there was another standoff in the Sarstoon River. This again compels us to urgently negotiate and agree a protocol that covers the Sarstoon River and the Bay of Honduras. In spite of these challenges, we look forward to the definitive and final settlement of the territorial claim, which has for too long prevented the full development of normal relations between the two countries. We will continue to rely on the office of the OAS in the adjacency zone to assist us in the implementation of the Confidence Building Measures to reduce tensions along the border.”

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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