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Feb 10, 2023

Foreign Minister on Khan; Belize Rejected 2 Other Requests

Majid Khan

In a one-on-one interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay, News Five asked about the concerns that the Opposition and some Belizeans have expressed about former Guantanamo Bay detainee Majid Khan. Khan had served twenty years in detention after pleading guilty to his involvement in terrorist activities. Belize’s decision to accept the U.S. Government’s request to resettle Khan in Belize is unchartered territory. We asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtney, to respond to the concerns. He says while he understands, Belizeans have nothing to worry about. 


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“They have a legitimate reason to be and to seek assurance from the government; we are happy to do so. First of all, this is a matter that has been considered for several months. It has been extended and extensive negotiations. We have been provided with copious documents by the US authorities. These documents include medical assessments of Khan; those have been reviewed and considered by our experts who have provided advice to government. We have been provided with tremendous amount of information on how Mister Khan has behaved rejection of radicalism and the assessment of any security threat. These had been done by high level US authorities and our C.I.B. has also done their assessment. Mister Khan has been locked up for twenty years, Mister Khan has had no contact with anyone for twenty years. Mister Khan is, in my view, not a threat to the security of Belize because not only the US security forces, but the Belizean security forces have advised the government that based on their analysis of the situation, there is no threat. Belizeans, we say to you as a government, we would not have agreed to this if there was a risk to Belizeans. The fact is that we were asked to take three people and our security forces rejected two. So this is not they ask and we say yes; this was carefully considered and carefully calibrated and proper assessment was done. I can say with confidence that there is an elaborate security blanket in place that monitors and reports on Mister Khan and his activities. We are in constant contact with the United States of America, sharing information, and we believe that what is in place will redound to the security concerns of the Belizean people.”

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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