Prime Minister Briceno Counters Guatemala’s Sarstoon Accusations
In related news, Prime Minister Briceno also weighed in on the statements made by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Mario Busano, where he accused Belize of provoking problems at the Sarstoon. Busan made the presentation before the United Nations’ General Assembly on September 23 in New York after Belize’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Eamon Courtenay, who had called for a Sarstoon Protocol. According to Prime Minister Briceno, logic would dictate that it is the other way around; that Guatemala is the one provoking Belize.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Those in the United Stations they’re in the know about what’s going on that’s their job, all the different ambassadors and they know that Guatemala is a country of about 18 million people, Belize 400,000 how can we provoke them ? But more importantly the accusations that they’re making it is in our land, it’s in our territory, it’s in our sea. It’s like I’m going to your house creating problems in your house and then turn around and saying it’s you provoking you when I went to your house to provoke you. They are coming into our territory. They are coming into our seas. They are refusing to sign the Sarstoon Protocol. If we sign a Sarstoon Protocol none of that would happen but they are the ones that are causing it and the entire world knows that so I don’t think anybody takes them seriously.”
Reporter: Do you feel realistically that this will continue until the ICJ issue is —
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Unfortunately it seems so but that is why we’ve been lobbying the Americans. We believe that the best chance we have in holding down and in trying to reduce these kinds of incidents I think is the Americans they have a lot of influence in the region and I believe the US officials were to seriously talk with them hopefully it will be able to help.”
Reporter: We’re reaching out to the Americans ?
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “That was a part of the discussions that we had in Washington. From the issue of migration to drugs, to Sarstoon Protocol, to relationship between Belize and Guatemala, looking at access to our products into the US we had a whole range of discussions with the Americans.”
All three addresses were made at the General Debate of the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, from September 19 through to the 26th.