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Cabinet greenlights agreement with UPU to cover debt; Cabinet denies permits for charter flights from Haiti; gives okay for new police intake

Prior to Prime Minister John Briceno’s departure for Kigali, Rwanda, he and his ministers met on Monday to discuss a number of issues. One of them has to deal with the Belize Postal Service. Cabinet says that to lift the current sanctions by the Universal Postal Union, the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy, Logistics and E-Governance has gotten the green light to sign a debt rescheduling agreement with the UPU. This agreement, Cabinet says, was necessary after Belize’s Postal Service had not been paying its mandatory contributions to the UPU since 2015.  With this agreement, it will be easier to communicate and transact with postal couriers regionally and internationally. On the immigration front, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration informed Cabinet of the increase in requests for permits to allow charter flights from Haiti to Belize with Haitians. The ministry has carefully assessed these applications and is satisfied that they are not genuine tourist flights. Accordingly, in consultation with the Ministry of Blue Economy & Civil Aviation, permission to land will not be granted. At this time, Belize is considering revoking visa-free travel to Belize for Haitians. Meanwhile, the call has now been made for a new police intake. The Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries received the okay to proceed with Intake Squad 96. This would increase the strength of the Belize Police Department by an additional 150 police officers. Persons wishing to apply to join the Police Department must have completed a minimum of high school education. A recommendation from their area representative is no longer a requirement. Also, Cabinet approved a request for funding by the Ministry of National Defence & Border Security to conduct the 2022 Battle Camp for the Belize Defence Force Volunteer Element and the Belize Defence Force Youth Cadet Corps. In addition, Cabinet gave its support for the Belize Security Services to look into the possibility of having their members participate in United Nations Peace Keeping Operations as military observers or staff officers.