GAF Returns Belize Flag
The Belizean flag that the Guatemalan Armed Forces stole is in the country. That is what Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Courtenay told Love News on Saturday. Minister Courtenay explained that the Guatemalan Armed Forces willingly handed over the Belizean flag. The GAF stole the flag from the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) when the group made its annual trip to Sarstoon Island days before Independence Day. The minister also shared that the Belizean Government sent a strong protest note on the incident.
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “The Guatemalans turned over the flag. They knew they could not keep the flag. They turned over the flag to our embassy. I had protested the ambassador here verbally and then we followed it up with a written protest. Listen to me we are insistent that there be a Sarstoon protocol. So far we have not been able to convince the Guatemalans, Prime Minister Briceno and I had a meeting with the Secretary General of the OAS earlier this week when we were in Washington and stressed the need for a Sarstoon protocol. I will meeting with the foreign minister next week in Peru in the margins of the OAS General Assembly and he knows that we will be putting on the agenda as Sarstoon protocol. We need to avoid these incidents. Whether we succeed we will see but with respect to the flag they did not give any resistance in turning over the flag. We demanded the flag, they delivered it to the embassy, the embassy made arrangement arrangements for it to be brought to Belize.”
Reporter: Not handed over yet to will.
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Well I don’t think it’s been handed over but it is here.”
Minister Courtenay was also asked why Prime Minister John Briceño did not mention this particular incident when he spoke at the UN General Assembly recently.
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Well we would have had to reference a lot of other things. You know there are a lot of other incursions, a lot of other issues that we have to deal with and we have to measure the place and how far we go on these issues. We took that into consideration and decided that that was not the place. We made a forceful presentation, Prime Minister made a forceful presentation to the OAS Secretary General which I won’t go into the details but it has produced some results already. Sometimes you have to do diplomacy quietly, sometimes you do it publicly and it’s a balancing act.”