Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2021. 7:19 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Guatemalan president Giammattei says Belize Prime Minister John Briceño’s visit to Guatemala is an historic event.
In a joint declaration at the Guatemalan Presidential Palace after their meeting today, Giammattei started out welcoming Belize’s Prime Minister John Briceño thanking for accepting the invitation to visit Guatemala and saying they had a fruitful meeting today dealing with many issues.
“It is an historic event that two neighbouring countries, that have common challenges, have agreed to start working on the solutions of those common challenges, in improving our commercial capacities between both countries, in promoting investments and in guaranteeing the investments, both Guatemalan investments in Belize as well as the Belizean investments in Guatemala, the possibility of being able to have fundamental exchanges of information in different areas, not only commercial, but in security as well,” said Giammattei.
Giammattei said that upon taking office he instructed his Foreign Minister Pedro Brol to ensure that today’s visit by Belize’s Prime Minister would happen.
“I want to reiterate, Prime Minister, the commitment I made to you that we want to be the Government of the Republic [of Guatemala] that gets along the best with Belize, with you all, so that we can construct the economic recovery, that we can make it a reality, that we can work together so that our peoples live under better conditions. Be assured Prime Minister that for our Government, from Day One we gave Foreign Minister Brol the instructions for this moment happen.”
Giammattei said that now the two countries will have many moments to enter into a great number of agreements.
“This will be one of many moments to enter into many new agreements as soon as possible to make substantial changes in our relations and above all to show that when there is political will, we can overcome differences. When there is freedom and strength to represent our peoples with dignity, it makes it possible for us to see towards the future, not backwards. Backwards, there might be someone to fix that, but looking forward, the only ones who can fix the life of the people in our communities is us, the governments, and what a better way than doing it together. Because as long as we do it together, the easier it’s going to be to make our countries grow as it should be. So, thank you, Prime Minister.”
Prime Minister John Briceño then thanked President Giammatei for his invitation and for the warm welcome.
“On behalf of my delegation, Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay and my group, I want to express my appreciation for the invitation and more than the invitation, for the way we have been treated here, in such a friendly manner and with that desire that our two countries are able to work better together,” Prime Minister Briceño said.
“In fact, I’m optimistic and I believe that there are many opportunities between the two countries, Belize and Guatemala,” Briceño said.
“We in Belize have many of your citizens who have made Belize their new home. So, we have a lot to work on. For example, the students on the Guatemalan border who cross into Belize every day to study in our schools, and for us as well, our students who come here to study at the university level, commerce, tourism, culture, medicine. There are so many opportunities that we can have.
“So, I thank you for being the president who has worked to strengthen and improve the relations between the two countries.
“At the end of the day for this to be successful there has to be the personal desire and it has to come from the heart to ensure that this works. And if the government officials see that we at the political level are predisposed to make sure this works, they will also do their part,” Prime Minister Briceño said.
“So, I want to assure that on behalf of our government, we are going to do everything possible so that the agreement we have worked on today, that it can be carried out as fast as possible.”
Prime Minister Briceño then invited Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to visit Belize.
“I close, Mr President, by also inviting you and your team to visit us in Belize. And if you do, let me tell Pedro [Brol] that we are going to work more there, Foreign Minister, so that we can return the favour of the friendship that you have shown us and also to extend the work we want to do and so that you can also visit our country which is so beautiful and of which we are very proud.”
Prime Minister Briceño closed by thanking President Giammattei for his hospitality.
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