By Marion V. Ali
The British Government, particularly its Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has been taking a keen interest in the situation and incidents as they occur between Belize and Guatemala.
That’s according to Belize’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Perla Perdomo.
In a question and answer session with the Reporter Press, High Commissioner Perdomo indicated that “officials from the Foreign Office make regular visits to Belize and some high-level parliamentarians have visited the OAS (Organisation of American States) Office to see the kind of work being carried out there. There is also ongoing engagement in the margins of Commonwealth meetings.”
The High Commissioner indicated that a conference is scheduled for October when the Belize High Commission along with the British-Belize Research Association will discuss the situation on the ground in the border areas.
The diplomat also went on to explain that the British did not welcome Guatemala’s postponement of the referendum and that Britain’s position remains the same: The UK continues to support Belize’s Independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and is in support of a process that would lead to a final peaceful resolution. The British are also supportive of efforts on the environmental protection front and have funded programs carried out by FCD.
H.E. Perdomo said “the British Government has contributed modest sums to assist us in researching, compiling and collating our legal position. They have assisted us in defraying some of the cost of providing a registry of material necessary to present our case to an international court.
In terms of British military presence and assistance, High Commissioner Perdomo indicated that while the British military presence in Belize is not in any protective capacity, it does provide a good channel of contact and communication.
“There is direct communication between the Belize armed forces and the British armed forces through the British Military Attaché posted in Jamaica, and an ongoing cooperation in the exchange of information and sharing of military protocols, etc.
“In our own High Commission we have appointed a Military Liaison Officer who is in charge of maintainingcontact with military officials in the UK and to co-ordinate official visits.”