Guatemalan’s Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, also made his address where he made it clear that his country had recognized Belize as an independent nation. Morales also spoke of the confidence building measures and how they have revolved between the two countries.
CARLOS RAUL MORALES
“I would like to say that Guatemala recognizes Belize as an independent country and it is a fact, we recognized at that moment the self determination of the Belizean people to be Belizean and we recognize the Government of Belize as the government of the Belizean people. At that moment we agree that we have to define the rights that Guatemala believes it has under the Belize territory. In 2000 we signed the first confidence building measures where we determined the adjacency line, it is very important too. In 2008 we agreed to take our continental insular differendum to the International Court of Justice. I am a diplomat and I have been working with this issue for a long time as a matter of fact I served in Belize for eight years as a consulate and I know very well the situation and the first thing we agreed with Minister Elrington is to separate the bilateral agenda which is very important from the differendum because if we mix the differendum in every act we do every day it will result in a very bad formula because we need to advance and we need to try to do things together. Guatemala and Belize, then we agreed to separate the differendum from the bilateral agenda. In the framework of the confidence building measures we began to act and I have to recognize the good will of Minister Elrington which is a very good friend and myself we want the peace for both countries. I have to recognize as well the good will of Ambassador Alexis Rosado who at that moment was the vice minister of Belize and myself as well and we started to work together in a list of agreements to try to get both countries closer. I remember last year as a vice minister, Alexis and myself we worked for almost a year and finally we signed in Placencia last year in December 13 agreements that if followed the agreements get both countries closer in several areas. Areas such as education, justice, immigration, agriculture, commerce, customs. The ideas is to try to work together, we are going to be neighbors and we want to build a peace between both countries. As Minister Elrington mentioned we have a partnership between the government of Guatemala and the government of Belize and we know very well that each incident results to the damage of the bilateral relation. Then we have to be smart, we have to try to stop all incidents that can damage the bilateral relation. This is why we are working very hard with the OAS, I recognize the work of the ambassadors, we are trying to work with the adjacency zone in the vicinities of both countries and working with the local people. My President, Perez Molina, mentioned when he visited Belize in last December that Guatemala is not the enemy of Belize and Belize is not the enemy of Guatemala.”
Following the presentations, both Elrington and Morales responded to several questions from the media which we will be bringing to you later in this newscast.