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Nov 17, 2023

Foreign Minister Courtenay Says Churches Should Have Consulted Government

Eamon Courtenay

On Thursday, the government responded to the Belize Council of Churches and the National Evangelical Association of Belize’s statements in which they expressed individual positions that the government was being too heavy-handed in suspending diplomatic relations with Israel. The government issued a release of its own, stating that when the war erupted, arrangements were made with a friendly third country to render aid and assistance to Belizeans in Israel who needed assistance. The Briceño administration further stated that it was incorrect for the Council to say that the government’s decision to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel increase obstacles for Belizeans wanting to visit that country. Today the media got a chance to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the matter. He said that while he respects the Council and NEAB’s right to present their statement, it would have been better if the government was consulted to correct what he called inaccuracies in their statements.


Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“It would have been better if we had been consulted so that we could have corrected the inaccuracies in their statement. For example, Belizeans continue to be free to travel to Israel and we have made arrangements with a friendly country in the event any Belizean gets into trouble there. There is no visa requirement to go to Israel, so any Belizean who wants to go to the Holy Land can do so freely. The decision that we took has not impacted or changed that in any way as far as I mean, Israel might change their mind, Israel might react, but we don’t know that up to date.  Also, I think it was just completely wrong to suggest that the Government of Belize had not condemned the actions by Hamas. They are coming at it from a different perspective. They are coming at it primarily from a religious perspective, and we respect that. And we appreciate their support, at least the Council of Churches support for a two state solution to pray for peace. That is very important.”


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