Guatemala-Belize Foreign Ministers agree to “work on formal cooperation mechanism”

That agreement to start work on “a formal cooperation mechanism” between the two countries was reached when the Foreign Ministers attended the World Humanitarian Summit held by the United Nations Secretary General. There, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Mr. Carlos Raúl Morales, and in the presence of Magdalena Talamas, Representative of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), held a working meeting in the City of Istanbul, Turkey on the 23 and 24 May 2016, and discussed several issues under their bilateral agenda. According to a Governemtn issued release onteh Istanbul meeting,  vlcsnap-2016-05-25-10h14m06s090

Both Foreign Ministers once again expressed their commitment to peace and good faith. In this vein, they reiterated that the existing Territorial, Insular and Maritime differendum should be definitively resolved by the International Court of Justice, once approved by the required referenda. They expressed that as long as this process continues and even after its conclusion, it is necessary that both promote and develop relations of good neighborliness that conduce to peace and stability and that promote the economic development of both peoples. In this vein, they underlined the importance of the thirteen agreements signed in Placencia, Belize in December 2014 that have contributed to the development and strengthening of their bilateral relations.”

The release continues in saying,

The Ministers recognized the need to avoid incidents between the two countries that affect the process of confidence building as agreed in 2000, 2003 and 2005. In this context they affirmed the need to work more in the development of building confidence, especially between the Armed Forces of both countries, including the possibility of having joint training for the troops responsible for patrolling the Adjacency Zone. Both Ministers recognized the urgent need for and committed to working on the design and development of a mechanism for cooperation in the Sarstoon River, which should include the participation of relevant institutions of both Parties and be coordinated by both Foreign Ministries with the participation of the Organization of American States. Recognizing the importance of the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone and of the urgent and critical need for funding to maintain this Office, they undertook to jointly pursue efforts to source such funding.”

The release ends by saying that ,vlcsnap-2016-05-25-10h14m03s199

At the conclusion of the meeting, both Foreign Ministers congratulated each other for the agreements reached and expressed their commitment towards dialogue and the creation of a positive bilateral agenda, in line with the advancement of the process mentioned in the Special Agreement to submit the Territorial, Insular and Maritime differendum to the International Court of Justice signed in December 2008”.

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