Foreign relations of Belize

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politics and government of
Belize

Belize maintains fourteen embassies to foreign countries, one additional consulate, and three missions to international organizations.[1] In 1990, Belize became a member of the Organization of American States.

Latin-America[edit]

In order to strengthen its potential for economic and political development Belize has sought to build closer ties with the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America to complement its historical ties to the English-speaking Caribbean states. Recent foreign policy initiatives include joining with the other Central American countries in signing the CONCAUSA Agreement on regional sustainable development and becoming a full member of the Central American Integration System (SICA) Belize is a member of CARICOM which was founded in 1973.

 Colombia[edit]

On February 15, 1982, formal relations were stablished. Colombia's embassy in Belize closed in 2002 in order to cut down on costs though the embassy of Colombia in El Salvador is also concurrent to Belize. On April 17, 2013, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister met with the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia in order to strengthen relations.[2]

 Dominican Republic[edit]

Belize has an embassy in Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic is represented in Belize through a non-resident ambassador in Santo Domingo and an honorary consulate in Belmopan.

Both countries are members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Group of 77.

 Guatemala[edit]

Belize's principal external concern has been the dispute involving the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory. Initially a dispute between formerly Spanish Guatemala and the United Kingdom's colony of British Honduras, Guatemala continued its claim after Belizean independence in 1981; it recognized its neighbour's independence one decade later, in 1991. The dispute remains unresolved.

 Mexico[edit]

Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Belize were established in 1981.

 Nicaragua[edit]

Diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and Belize were established in 1981.

 Republic of China[edit]

Belize maintains diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (commonly referred to as "Taiwan") instead of the People's Republic of China.

 Palestine[edit]

Under the previous premiership of Said Musa, Belize remained a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights and shunned relations with Israel due to the latter's military and intelligence support for Guatemala.[5] Since the election of Dean Barrow in 2008, however, relations with Israel have improved considerably. In June 2011, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington met with Israeli envoy Danny Ayalon to discuss an upcoming resolution in September aimed at recognising a Palestinian state. Following the meeting, Ayalon claimed that he had gained the support of Belize in opposing the resolution. However, on 9 September, the Belizean Foreign Ministry issued an official statement recognizing the State of Palestine with the borders prior to the Six Day War.

 Russia[edit]

Further information: Foreign relations of Russia

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on June 25, 1991. Belize immediately recognized Russia as the USSR's successor after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Russia is represented in Belize through its embassy in Mexico city and an honorary consulate in Belize City.

 United Kingdom[edit]

Belize is a member of the Commonwealth and was granted independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. Formerly known as British Honduras, the British maintained a garrison in Belize well into the 1990s, until Guatemala, which has always claimed sovereignty of the country, signed a treaty recognising Belize's independence. The United Kingdom maintains a training centre for the army in Belize.

On 3 March 2012, Prince Harry visited Belize on a tour of Commonwealth countries in the region as the Queen's representative in her Diamond Jubilee, making this his first solo royal tour. There he renamed Zennia Boulevard (also known as Cohune Walk Boulevard) in the capital to "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard", in honour of his grandmother.[6]

The United Kingdom has a High Commission in Belmopan, whilst Belize also has one in London.

 United States[edit]

Belize-United States relations have traditionally been close and cordial. The United States is Belize's principal trading partner and major source of investment funds. It is also home to the largest Belizean community outside Belize, estimated to be 70,000 strong. Because Belize's economic growth and accompanying democratic political stability are important U.S. objectives, Belize benefits from the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative.

As a member of CARICOM Belize strongly backed efforts by the United States to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 940 designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute military personnel to the Multinational Task Force which restored the democratically elected Government of Haiti in October 1994 and to the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH).

Belize is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the American military (as covered under Article 98).

International crime issues dominate the agenda of bilateral relations between the United States and Belize. The United States is working closely with the Government of Belize to fight illicit narcotics trafficking, and both governments seek to control the flow of illegal migrants to the United States through Belize. Belize and the United States brought into force a stolen vehicle treaty, an extradition treaty, and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between 2001 and 2003.

The United States is the largest provider of economic assistance to Belize, contributing $2.5 million in various bilateral economic and military aid programs to Belize in FY 2006. Of this amount, nearly $500,000 was provided by the U.S. Military Liaison Office. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) closed its Belize office in August 1996 after a 13-year program during which USAID provided $110 million worth of development assistance to Belize. Belize still benefits from USAID regional programs. In addition, during the past 42 years, almost 2,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Belize. As of April 2007, the Peace Corps had 58 volunteers working in Belize. Until the end of 2002, Voice of America operated a medium-wave radio relay station in Punta Gorda that broadcast to the neighboring countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The U.S. military has a diverse and growing assistance program in Belize that included the construction and renovation of several schools and youth hostels, medical assistance programs, and drug reduction programs. Private North American investors continue to play a key role in Belize's economy, particularly in the tourism sector.

Belize and the Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

Belize has been a member state of the Commonwealth since 1981, when it became an independent Commonwealth realm.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Belize embassy". www.mfa.gov.bz. Retrieved 7 Mar 2014. 
  2. ^ "Belice" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Embajada de Mexico en Belize" (in English & Espanol). embamex.sre.gob.mx. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Belize (in English only).
  5. ^ Madsen, Wayne (18 July 2011). "Israeli Math". Opinion Maker. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  6. ^ "Festivities for Prince Harry in Belmopan". BelmopanCityOnline.com. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Dominican Republic
Russia
Belize

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).