Western neighbors Guatemala have sent a strongly worded reply to the Organization of the American States (OAS) condemning the tone and content of Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 30. Listing numerous breaches of Belize’s territory by Guatemala and their refusal to accede to a referendum on sending the territorial dispute to the ICJ, the speech has caused a storm in diplomatic choices. But on Friday Prime Minister Dean Barrow showed no concern, backing his Foreign Minister all the way.
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize
“I’m not familiar with the details. Get the point: letter the OAS. Minister Erlington must have been on the right track… He didn’t speak a lie, but perhaps that wasn’t their saying, that was not the place to talk about it. I don’t agree with them. When you go to the United Nations Assembly, that’s precisely the place to talk about matter involving your viability, your territorial integrity, and then the threats thereto, so, I think the Guatemalans are way wide of the marking suggesting that that wasn’t the place…”
P.M. Barrow says the Government is finally showing some of the backbone hardliners in Belize have been pushing on them.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“…and, could I just add this much more?: I don’t want to say, poor Foreign Minister because there’s nothing poor about him; he can handle himself. But if he doesn’t say anything, they give him hell; if he said something, they give him hell…all that aside. In my view, he was right on point in speaking as he did on this particular occasion”.