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Central American leaders meeting in Belize

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Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (right) is greeted on arrival for the summit (Belize Government photo)

(CMC) – Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is joining the leaders of six other Central American countries for the Central American Integrated System (SICA) conference that gets underway in Belize later on Friday.

Guatemala will take over the Presidency Pro Tempore from Belize and Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington, said Belize had accomplished several goals during its six-month stint, including strengthening relationships between CARICOM and SICA.

The foreign ministers met ahead of the summit and Elrington said there were several issues discussed.

“Climate change is an existential issue. Secondly, the migration issue and then of course the great question of security. That’s a matter that transcends borders.

“I like to think, you know the United States are having tremendous fire all over, what happens that in fact we start having tremendous fire in the Chiquibul area. Given the very limited capacities that we have to fight fires, we would be in trouble unless we get help from outside. If a serious disease were to take place in this region, would have to work together,” he told reporters.

The Foreign Minister says he doesn’t expect any “hullabaloo” at he presence here of President Morales, given the long standing border dispute between the two countries.

“I would not expect any kind of hullabaloo because I don’t know what the Guatemalan President is doing to the Belizean people for them to have a hullabaloo about it.

“We have a claim which he inherited and which we inherited and in a very mature fashion they have decided how they will handle it. They have decided that they will go to the International Court of Justice to have it resolved. I think that is a most commendable and mature manner to handle it.

“We have, I’ve like to think, managed the claim very, very maturely. Hopefully it will be only a few months more, it is my hope, when we will have the matter decided upon on by our people. It is my hope that they will say and once that is done it is going to be put in the hands of the International Court of Justice,” Erlington added.

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