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Belize prepares to defend ownership of Sapodilla Cayes before International Court as Guatemala joins case

Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2023. 12:07 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This week, Guatemala applied to the International Court of Justice to join, as an interested party, the claim involving Belize and Honduras over the sovereignty of the Sapodilla Cayes.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay in an interview reiterated Government’s position in the latest development where that matter before the ICJ is concerned: “They have applied to join and so that matter is going to be determined by the court whether they will be allowed to join. As I had said to the media before, we were not surprised by that, we had expected them [to join].”

The issue is overlapped and the main purpose for us bringing the case against Honduras was to have the sovereignty over those cayes and that area resolved finally by the court. Now Guatemala wants to join that case. They have applied, [and] the court [will] make a determination. At this stage, their application is going to be considered by our international lawyers and we expect next week to get some preliminary advice from them as to what position we should take and so that matter is being reviewed.”

It has yet to be decided whether the case will also be joined to the wider matter of Belize and Guatemala’s territorial dispute that is also before the ICJ.

 

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