A high-level meeting between government officials from Belize and Mexico was held earlier today to conclude the eighth meeting of the Bi-national Commission.  A delegation from the neighboring country, led by Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade, convened with the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Tourism at the Princess Hotel this morning to discuss matters relating to foreign policy, economic cooperation, as well as tourism.  During the assembly a total of four documents were endorsed for various initiatives.  This is the largest diplomatic mission to Belize by Mexico and, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, the aim is to improve on the excellent relationship between both countries.

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“This is really a most important meeting because although we have had good relations with Mexico all these years, we’ve never really had a legal framework with which we could enhance and develop the relationship.  This meeting sets the stage now for us to have the various legal instruments that will allow us to benefit greatly from cooperation with Mexico in almost sphere of life, be it health, education, security, climate change, military, whatever it is we will be able to work closely with the Mexican government in a very structured way regulated by the laws of Belize and Mexico for the benefit of the people of Belize and Mexico.  So it really lays the foundation for the development of what can only prove to be a very fruitful and successful relationship between two very close friends.”

Alexis Rosado

Alexis Rosado, C.E.O., Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“There were four signatures of documents, one was the agreement on tourism cooperation signed by the Minister of Tourism and Secretario Meade.  There is the high-level final act of the security group, GANSEF.  There is the letter of intent to form a working group to review the rules and guidelines for the treatment of the naval vessels that flow into each others territorial waters and we just witnessed the signature of the final act which has the conclusions of the sessions of yesterday and today.  So, four signatures.”

Jose Antonio Meade

Jose Antonio Meade, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs

“Just briefly to expand on that, if you look at the final act it not only includes what the working groups concluded but it also includes a road map of what we want to do in terms of the legal structure of the relationship and we’re going to try to finish that legal structure to finalize many more agreements between ow and December.”

…Establish Guides for Tourism and Trade

Jose Antonio Meade

According to Jose Antonio Meade, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of President Enrique Pena Nieto, a guide has been established in order to achieve the purposes of bolstering the management of the countries’ marine and tourism resources.

Jose Antonio Meade, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs

“We have not really constructed a relationship that allows the kind of exchanges between people and goods that is deserving of such a friendship.  What we would like to work [on], we started to work during this bi-national [meeting] but we will continue to do so is to establish a legal framework that will allow for more investments from Mexico in Belize, for higher volume of trade between Belize and Mexico, for enhanced cooperation in terms of health which is very important regionally which is a characteristic that Mexico and Belize wants to strengthen in better administration of our water resources and our tourism resources.  So what we would want to do is to translate itself into more opportunities for the people of Belize and the people of Mexico.  Through this investment and higher trade we should be able to support more jobs and a higher quality of life between our peoples.  We need for this legal structure to be enhanced and to be in place so that we can have this higher degree of open support for goods and people for that movement of goods and people to translate itself into prosperity.  So what we have tried to do in this eighth bi-national meeting is to establish a roadmap so as to achieve those purposes and that enhanced legal structure for the type of relationship that we now want to have.”

Today’s meeting brought to an end a series of diplomatic sessions with Mexico which began earlier this week.

Channel 5