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Marty Offline OP
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On November 16, 2022, Belize deposited its application with the Registrar of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, seeking a final and binding resolution, in accordance with international law, of the dispute between Belize and the Republic of Honduras concerning sovereignty over the Sapodilla Cayes, including Seal Caye.

The application and the annexed documents are available on the ICJ's website.

The Government of Belize emphasizes that it has taken this measure to protect the vital interests of Belize in ensuring the full and final settlement of all outstanding territorial disputes to Belizean territory. It has done so in support and furtherance of its friendly relations with Honduras.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Guatemala's "Best Interest" - A Threat To Belize?

On November 16th, Belize filed an application at the International Court of Justice asking the court to give a final and binding resolution on the dispute between Belize and Honduras concerning ownership of the Sapodilla Cayes.

Well, the Guatemalans are not too happy about that. As is well known, they also claim the Sapodillas. Three days later, they issued a statement characterizing Belize's move, basically, as an act of ill will.

Their official release says, quote "the Government of Guatemala reaffirms that the...keys belong to Guatemala and that the action of the Government of Belize in no way affects Guatemalan sovereignty over them."

It continues to say, "The Government of Guatemala regrets this action. Belize's action is particularly deplorable because it was carried out a few days after December 8, 2022, the date set by the Court for Guatemala to present its Reply in this case."

And, in the closing paragraph comes what can be interpreted as a not so thinly veiled threat; Guatemala says quote, "The Government of Guatemala reaffirms its confidence in the International Court of Justice and reserves its right to act in the manner that best suits its interests..."

Today, the media asked the Chairman of the UDP, who is a member of the National Negotiating Team how he feels about the wording of the official Guatemalan release:

Reporter
"They're saying that while they still have confidence in the ICJ, that they reserve all rights to act in their best interest. Do you have any comments on that?"

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP
"You really think that I am so UDP that I would take the side of a Guatemalan government official to criticize the government? Absolutely not. On this issue we are all Belizean and I would say to that Guatemalan official if he/she said that - that listen withdraw the unfounded Guatemalan claim over Belize and you have nothing else to consider."

Reporter
"Do you take it as a threat and it's not a Guatemalan official, it's an actual press release from the Guatemalan ministry of foreign affairs for them to say that yes we still have confidence in the ICJ process, but we reserve all our rights to act in our best interest. Like what can they mean by that?"

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP
"Well dah, you would think that everybody will act in their best interest and I believe that whatever Belize does is in an attempt to act in Belize's best interest. But I go back to that point, withdraw the unfounded claim then we won't have any of these issues. When you go to court, all legal options are on the table and this is one legal option. So, I don't agree with that press release at all."

Belize's Foreign Minister has said that the new Sapodillas case with Honduras may delay the Belize Guatemala case at the ICJ for some months - possibly a year.

Channel 7



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