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ACP Reiterates Support for Belize in Recent Summit

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government convened for their 8th summit in New Guinea yesterday.  The summit, held under the theme, “Repositioning the ACP Group to Respond to Challenges of the Sustainable Development” has representation from Belize through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington and His Excellency Dylan Vernon, Belize’s Ambassador to the European Union.  The summit closed today with the adoption of a declaration which covers issues relating to the work and the way forward of the ACP.  The Government of Belize issued a press release highlighting paragraph eighteen of the declaration which focuses on the support for Belize surrounding the Guatemalan claim.  The paragraph states, quote, “Recalling the Resolution at the 103rd Session of the ACP Council of Ministers, we strongly reaffirm unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in relation to on-going tensions along the border of Belize caused by the Republic of Guatemala’s persistent territorial claims. We call on the Government of the Republic of Guatemala to respect the borders of Belize as established in the 1859 Treaty, and move with urgency to agree on protocols for the use of the Sarstoon River on the southern border of Belize. We urge both governments to refrain from the threat or use of force, to respect international agreements, and to move with expedition to hold national referenda with the goal of submitting all Guatemala’s claims to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. We renew our call on the international community, including the European Union, to support the efforts of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala to seek a peaceful, final and just resolution to Guatemala’s claims, and in particular to support the facilitation work of the Organization of American States through its Office in the Adjacency Zone.”  End of quote.