Leader of the Opposition Honorable John Briceno was briefed about Saturdays incident at the Sarstoon by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and today the PUP issued a release weighing in on the issue once again strongly condemning the quote “Illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces into Belizean territorial waters.
The PUP considers the latest hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards Belize’s security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base as another violation of international law by Guatemala and considers the action to be a grave risk to peace in the region.
And while the Government and the Opposition don’t often see eye to eye…..in this occasion the PUP joined the Government in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts and 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.
As mentioned a Ministerial meeting is set to take place in Washington tomorrow between Belizean and Guatemalan Foreign Ministers and in the release the PUP makes note of three points that must be given the highest priority. One: The repeated violation of Belizean territory by the GAF. Two: The threat to peace and violation of international law by GAF and three: Confidence Building Measures in the Sarstoon River.
Under these three points the PUP calls on the Government to urgently take all appropriate diplomatic actions required in order to guarantee the territorial integrity, safety and sovereignty of Belize. The Opposition is also asking for the re-appointment of a Negotiating Team on Belize Guatemala relations and the re-appointment of a National Advisory Commission on the Belize Guatemala Differendum.
Commenting on the issue, Hon. John Briceno is quoted as saying, “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.
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