Guatemala protests statements made by Belize’s Foreign Minister

vlcsnap-2013-10-02-07h57m57s144Belize and Guatemala; the two countries have been unable to settle border disputes and Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory and when the simultaneous referendum which was scheduled for this month was scrapped by Guatemala, it undoubtedly pushed a resolution further away. Now there are reports that the government of Guatemala has sent a letter to the Secretary General of the OAS, protesting statements made by Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. Those “unfortunate statements” as the letter described them, were made before the UN General Assembly last week. At that meeting, Minister Elrington said that Guatemala was the one who unilaterally pulled out of the simultaneous referendum which would determine if the matter be taken to the International Court of Justice.  The letter, signed by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera says that Guatemala  “rejected suggestions about alleged intentions by Guatemala to forcefully assert its rights over the territory administered by Belize.”  The letter further complains that Minister Elrington did not tell the world body that Belize’s referendum law requires 60% participation to make it successful and that is why Guatemala did not wish to proceed because it would have been done on “unequal conditions”. According to Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Latina,  the Guatemalan government is saying that Wilfred Elrington’s statements “do not contribute to a strengthening of trust between the two countries and are not in accordance with the incidents that have happened in the bordering zones or their vicinity.”

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