Following the PUP’s successful trip to the Sarstoon in which they circled the Island without interference from the Guatemalans on June 3rd, unofficial information was that the Guatemalans sent a letter to the Government of Belize declaring that they still exercise sovereignty over the Island. They reportedly added that the excursion taken by the PUP of less than 20 people was not intercepted by the Guatemalan Armed Forces because the Guatemalans had been informed about the trip and they recognized that it was meant as an educational visit. Today, during an interview with the media, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington was questioned about those allegations.


Screen_Shot_2016-06-07_at_8.06.28_PMHonorable Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs


“I not only was told that but I was told that by word of mouth and by the Foreign Minister of Guatemala and I was shown the boats,  I think they were two boats going around because the Guatemalans had photographed them, they did not see the drone but it was on top photographing every move they made and the Guatemalan do it, they knew they were going, but I think that they are moving to the point that they really want to normalize the situation, that is my view, I don’t think they are happy with the status cope, they want to normalize the relationship that is the instruction we got from the OAS and that is the undertaking we got from the OAS that we will seek to normalize and they are trying to do it in the best way they can that is my sense so, they were happy to tell me look PUP went there and there were no incidence.”


Reporter


“But then that almost make a suggestion that there was no incidence, it was an exception, we allowed the PUP to go.”


Honorable Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs


“I never miss that, you could tell me that you could allow me to do it but if I am exercising my right it doesn’t matter what you say the important thing is that I am able to go and come without hindrance, if you want to say that I am allowing you and you don’t interfere with me and I go and I come as I like makes you feel good that you think you are allowing me make me feel good to know that I can go and come as I like.”


Although Minister Elrington conceded that such letter was indeed sent, he added that GOB remains firm in claiming sovereignty over our side of the Sarstoon and he believes that the situation at the Sarstoon is beginning to normalize and Belizeans do not need to get permission from the Guatemalans to navigate the river.


Honorable Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs


“It is not my position and it will never be my position that we have to ask to use our own waters that is a no, no and that is the position that we have been taking from day one, this is our right this is our entitlement we are going to use it so that is the position that we are taking.”


Reporter


“We were told that in that letter that they are basically ascertaining their sovereignty over the Sarstoon Island.”


Honorable Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs


“And they will do that until the matter is ruled upon that the ICJ, we ascertaining ours too but does it affect us do we have a position that is why we want to go to the ICJ.”

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