The Republic of Honduras was gifted a parcel of land near the National Assembly in Belmopan. The land has been designated as the future location for the Honduran Embassy to be built in the capital. A special handing-over ceremony was held on the property on Friday, October 15. Speaking at the event were Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay, and his Honduran counterpart, His Excellency Lisandro Rosales Banegas.
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Diplomacy is often characterized by words, by diplomatic notes, by conferences all spoken or written but occasionally there comes a time when there is a tangible representation of the relationship between two countries. What we are standing on will shortly be the territory of the Republic of Honduras in Belize. It represents a deepening of our relationship born in 1928 when our countries established diplomatic relations. Belize and Honduras not only share a geographic space but we also share common values, our commitment to democracy, the non interference in internal affairs, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and above all a commitment to regionalism and multilateralism bind us together and it is a pleasure for me to participate in this ceremony which is a concrete example of two countries who enjoy a spirit of fraternity, a spirit of friendship and above all cooperation.”
H.E Lisandro Rosales Banegas, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of Honduras: “Ours is not just a friendship, it’s a brotherhood and the sign that you gave us with this donation of of this land in this very important Embassy Square. It’s important for us. We value it very much, we believe that it’s a compromise or a duty to soon have something built here and soon have a Casa Honduras in Belize. Good friends, good neighbors and especially good brothers. Thank you for this great land which I only see with eyes of future, in the near future having here a good presence of Honduras, the flag being raised in front of your legislation will make us honored of this moment.”
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “We have welcomed many Honduran citizens who have become Belizeans or who have maintained their nationality but have made Belize their home. This is going to be the official home of Honduras in Belize.”
Minister Courtenay has referred to the visit of his Honduran counterpart as a historic day. Aside from the handing over of the land, a meeting was held where future collaborations were discussed between the two countries. According to Minister Courtenay, this collaboration is part of a wider regional mission.
H.E Lisandro Rosales Banegas, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperations, Republic of Honduras: “Your closeness to Honduras, your friendship to us it’s very valuable and we appreciate very much that you opened the space in your agenda for that.”
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “The presence of the delegation today is historic. It is the first time that there is a bilateral meeting between the two foreign ministries and for us that is a clear signal of your commitment to the relationship between our two countries and we value it and we would like to salute you for initiating this dialogue. We believe that the current COVID pandemic has more than anything raised the whole need for deeper cooperation between countries, between regions and between the world at large and I have to say that as far as SICA is concerned there are issues which we need to resolve and I’d like to explore them because we see the regional integration movement as essential for us to emerge out of the pandemic and economic social crisis that we face. And so I think that is one of the issues that we need to address as a matter of urgency. As I have already mentioned the question of migration, and I know you have been taking the lead on that issues in our region and we will be happy to receive your views and again to share views on that to see where we go from here because the issue of the movement of people in the region and in the Americas has now become more than a crisis and it is something which we have to address together. Finally I would say there are significant opportunities between Honduras and Belize on trade and tourism. We have an agreement in tourism signed I believe in early 1990 but I think we need to revisit it and to see how we can have more innovative ways of having our people share the beauty and the offerings that both our countries have.”
The media was not invited to the event and the government did not say what the period for construction of the embassy is or what future collaborations could be expected from the meetings.