Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Feely, of the U.S. State Departmentís Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, concluded a two-day working visit to Belize today after meeting with various organizations, including government, civil society, security, education and culture.† Feely met with officials from the Ministry of Education on Thursday at the Leo Bradley Library, where a discussion on Belizeís education system and relating challenges was held.† Also discussed were the dynamics of being multilingual in an English-speaking country.† This afternoon, Feely met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington at his office in Belize City. He is one of the highest ranking US officials to visit Belize in recent times. Feely spoke to News Five about the purpose of his to Belize.
John Feely, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. State Department
ďI came to Belize because Belize is a terrific partner of the United States and we want to be a terrific partner of Belize.† We have a long relationship of friendship.† It is a non-ideological partnership, it is a partnership that is based on the many Belizeans that are in the United States who are there working and contributing to my society and our belief which is Belize a unique sort of crossroads in the Caribbean and Central America.† Belize has a very important role to play, not just in its own social, economic and political development but in the regionís development.† So Iíve had a marvelous visit down here dealing with my own colleagues here and the excellent team that he leads but Iíve also been privileged to meet with several ministers and weíve discussed issues ranging from civilian security to the protection of human rights and in particular the LGBTI community† here in Belize.† I just had a marvelous meeting with Minister Elrington where we discussed not foreign affairs at all where we discussed the importance of empowering young people when you deal with citizen security issues and I came away very, very impressed that there is a core of very informed and enlightened leaders in Belize.† And so I am very happy to say that I leave here confident that our partnership is in excellent hands.Ē