Belize Foreign Affairs Minister confirms forward operating base will be constructed

Monday, July 27, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: In the spirit of the new partnership and national unity, Guatemala appears to have forgiven Belize for scaring them with the planned forward operating base at Sarstoon Island in the Toledo District.

As it turns out, the Guatemalans thought Belize may have been violating the confidence building measures which frown on anything resembling a military buildup along the border or in the Adjacency Zone. Their Foreign Minister, Carlos Morales, said these were signed several years ago. 1438019752565_resized

The Amandala‘s Adele Ramos in an e-mail forwarded to multiple media houses this afternoon states that neither CBM document – signed in 2003 and 2005 (and not 2000 as Minister Morales erroneously stated) says nothing about holding back on militarization of the border areas. Guatemala had similarly objected to a military post at Machaquila in western Toledo though Belize was establishing its presence there to fight illegal activities by Guatemalans.

She says, “It is the sort of argument being made for the South — which is not included in the so-called [Adjacency Zone]. There is nothing in the CBMs to say that Belize conceded to such an agreement, as was claimed this morning by the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. Now, he [Morales] talks about a new protocol for the Amatique Bay, which was never covered within the text of the CBMs.”

Be that as it may, it appears the dispute is over and the base’s construction can go ahead – and the decision, according to Elrington, is all up to Belize – the base will be built as soon as it is convenient to Belize.

No timeline has been given.

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