Late last week the media was invited to a roundtable discussion with H.E. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize at the Embassy in Belmopan. While the media was not allowed to record, the US Embassy provided the video that was issued on Friday. With assistance from our colleagues at Channel Seven, tonight we bring some of the Ambassador’s answers to pressing questions from the media. At the start of the discussion, the Ambassador was asked to comment on one of the most controversial matters currently affecting Belize and that is on the Belize Guatemala border Dispute. The question was posed by Amandala Newspaper’s Adele Ramos. Here is what she asked and the Ambassador’s response.
“Last October, Belize made a statement at the United Nations General Assembly calling for help to combat illegal activities particularly in the border area which is causing rapid degradation of Belizean forests. Forests that have also provided training grounds for U.S military personnel and we would like to know if the U.S. would consider targeted project assistance to help reduce cross-border incursions by Guatemalans into Belize and particularly into Belize’s protected areas, the Chiquibul Forest being an area under heavy attack?”
Carlos Moreno – US Ambassador
“That’s a very timely question. In fact, this week I met with the OAS representatives who monitor the Adjacency Zone. They provided me with some very startling information concerning incursions into the Chiquibul Forest in particular. They encouraged me to do a flyover so that I could see the degree of degradation on the Guatemalan side of the disputed border, as well as to see some of the degradation that’s occurred on the Belizean side. The United States Government is committed to assisting the Government of Belize in protecting and preserving its natural resources not only the forest in question but also other resources such as the reef and so forth, I think the present course working through the OAS the measures that have been taken by the adjacency zone personnel in terms of building confidence measures having a fairy regular meetings between the respective military authorities in continuing the dialogue is the best course that we proceed but in terms of taking one side and referred to international court of justice.”
The session lasted about an hour and 10 minutes
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