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GOB makes clarification on comments from Foreign Affairs minister Elrington

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018. 9:02 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a release yesterday clarifying Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington’s comments last week.

On April 4, Channel 5 Belize News aired portions of an interview with Foreign Minister, Elrington responding to a question by one of its journalists regarding the efforts of a few Guatemalan citizens who were challenging the constitutionality of Guatemala’s referendum.

According to the release by the ministry, the clips that Channel 5 used gave the mistaken impression that Elrington was stating that it is his or Ambassador H.E. Alexis Rosado’s own view that after the International Court of Justice rules on a decision the “constitution of Guatemala provides for them [Guatemala] to then go to a referendum to, as it were, ratify that position of the court”.

The release states that Elrington was explaining to the journalist, his own understanding of the basis of the constitutional challenge in Guatemala; not his personal views or that of Ambassador Rosado. In any case, such legal challenges have been dismissed in Guatemala’s Courts, the release said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarifies that in accordance with the Special Agreement of December 2008, should the electorates of Belize and Guatemala approve the submission of Guatemala’s claim on Belize to the International Court of Justice for a final settlement, there can be no question of another referendum on the Court’s ruling.

Indeed, under Article V of the Special Agreement, the Parties are already agreed to “accept the decision of the Court as final and binding, and undertake to comply with and implement it in full and in good faith”.

There is, therefore, no good reason to entertain notions of a need to have another referendum after the Court rules on a decision, if the people of Belize and Guatemala agree to go to Court, it said.

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