OAS Press Conference: Elrington Says A Peaceful Process is the Way to Go

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Updated: July 27, 2015

The foreign ministers for both Belize and Guatemala sat at the head table today at a press conference held in the VIP Room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.  The presentations made by both officials were aimed at assuring the Belizean people that there is a working relationship between both countries as well to offer the local media an opportunity to pose questions surrounding the ongoing issues as they pertain to Belize and Guatemala.  Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington was the first to address the gathering, who spoke of the various nations including the European Union that are in support of settling the territorial issue diplomatically.

WILFRED ELRINGTON

“The partnership which we have between the OAS and Belize and Guatemala was really a partnership which both Belizeans and Guatemalan governments willingly and voluntarily agreed to enter into. We invited the OAS to assist us, they did not force themselves on us; we asked them to assist us. Why did we ask the OAS to assist us?  Because the OAS represents all the countries on this American mainland from Canada up north to Argentina down south; so that this process is being managed by the representative of Canada, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Columbia, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile – all those countries are the countries that the OAS personnel here represent and speak for and every one of those countries supports the process for us to resolve this matter at the ICJ. I think it is significant that I emphasize that because by virtue of the Monroe Doctrine the United States regards this area as its seer of influence and it is resolved to keep this area peaceful and free. That is the sentiment and that is the view and that is the objective of every other country on this continent. The interest is in peace, harmony and peaceful coexistence and the development of our people. So this process has the full backing of the most powerful country in the world but it not only has the full backing of the entire North, South and Central American region but also of the entire European Union because much of the financing for the adjacency zone is in fact provided by the Europeans and I can tell you from my own experience over the last seven years that no other group of countries have evinced as much interest in this process as the European Union. They are fully totally and completely committed to the process and if you know anything about the European Union you will know that they do not believe in the resolution of disputes by force, they believe in peaceful solutions to problems. They are fully committed to international law and to the international multilateral process.”