The People’s United Party issued a statement this afternoon strongly condemning the illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces into Belizean waters. The release reads, in part, quote, The PUP also deplores the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards our Belizean security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base on the shores of the Sarstoon River in Belize. This latest incident is another violation of international law by Guatemala and constitutes a grave risk to peace in the region. The PUP joins the Government and all Belizeans in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts and we demand that the Government of Guatemala ensures that the GAF is instructed to stand down and to respect the long established boundary between Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon. The PUP applauds the firm and brave members of the Belizean security forces who resolutely defended our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of hostile and imminent threat from the Guatemalan Armed Forces. The PUP believes that the following issues must be given the highest priority at the Ministerial Meeting scheduled between Belizean and Guatemalan Foreign Ministers for Tuesday, 15th March in Washington DC: (1) the repeated violation of Belizean territory by the Guatemalan Armed Forces (2) the threat to peace and violation of international law by the Guatemalan Armed Forces (3) the confidence building measures in the Sarstoon River. The PUP calls on the Government to urgently: (1) take all appropriate diplomatic actions required in order to guarantee the territorial integrity, safety and sovereignty of Belize (2) re-appoint a Negotiating team on the Belize Guatemala relations; and (3) re-appoint a national advisory commission on the Belize Guatemala Differendum.” End of quote. The PUP release carried on by quoting the words of their Party Leader, John Briceno as being, quote, “We in the PUP have been monitoring the activities of the Guatemalan Government and its armed forces and we continue to regard the recent actions by them as illegal and a threat to peace in the region. I repeat: there is an urgent need for Belize to develop a carefully crafted strategy to deal with these hostile threats by Guatemala. For my part, I am proud of the BDF and congratulate them for defending us.” End of quote.