Foreign relations of Guatemala

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Guatemala's major diplomatic interests are regional security and increasingly, regional development and economic integration.

Bilateral relations[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 29 June 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 June 1998.

 Australia 7 January 1993

There are four Australia–Guatemala bilateral treaties extended to Australia by the British Empire. Guatemala has an embassy in Canberra, Australia.[1] The Australian embassy in Mexico has consular responsibility for Guatemala.[2] Trade between the two countries is A$32 Million.[3]

 Belize 11 September 1993 See Belize-Guatemala relations

Guatemala has a longstanding claim to a large portion of Belize. The territorial dispute caused problems with the United Kingdom and later with Belize following its 1981 independence from the UK. In December 1989 Guatemala sponsored Belize for permanent observer status in the Organization of American States (OAS). In September 1991 Guatemala recognized Belize's independence and established diplomatic ties, while acknowledging that the boundaries remained in dispute. In anticipation of an effort to bring the border dispute to an end in early 1996, the Guatemalan Congress ratified two long-pending international agreements governing frontier issues and maritime rights.

In early 2000 the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry proposed a border settlement that would transfer more than half of Belize's territory to Guatemala. Following a spate of border incidents, both sides agreed during talks under OAS auspices in November 2000 to confidence-building measures to reduce tensions. They followed that with an agreement on opening substantive discussions on the dispute.

Notably, both Guatemala and Belize are participating in the confidence-building measures, including the Guatemala-Belize Language Exchange Project.

In September 2010 the Guatemalan Congress overwhelmingly gave its approval for a referendum to be held to give the people of Guatemala a say in whether or not that country’s claim to Belize should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. Under the special agreement (compromis) signed in December 2008 by Belize and Guatemala it was agreed that if the people of both nations approved, by way of a simultaneous referendum on the same day, that the dispute would proceed to the ICJ. The outcome of any ruling handed down by the ICJ will be final and binding, regardless of in whose favor the ruling is handed down.

 Canada 1961
  • Canada has an embassy in Guatemala City.[4]
  • Guatemala has an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate-general in Montreal.[5]
 Republic of China 1902
Guatemala Diplomat Antonio Roberto Castellanos Lopez and ROC President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Guatemala maintains official relations with the Republic of China (ROC).

 El Salvador 1821
  • El Salvador has an embassy in Guatemala City.[6]
  • Guatemala has an embassy in San Salvador.[7]
 Guyana 1 May 1992
 Honduras 1821
 India 16 May 1972 See Guatemala-India relations
  • India maintains an embassy in Guatemala City.[10]
  • Guatemala has an embassy in New Delhi.
 Mexico 1838 See Guatemala–Mexico relations

Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Guatemala began in 1838 after the dissolution of the Federal Republic of Central America.

 Russia 19 April 1945 See Guatemala-Russia relations
  • Guatemala has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Guatemala City.[13]
 South Korea 24 October 1962

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Guatemala started on 24 October 1962.[14]

  • Guatemala has an embassy in Seoul South Korea.[15]
  • South Korea has an embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala.[16]
 Spain 1838 See Guatemala–Spain relations
  • Guatemala has an embassy in Madrid.[17]
  • Spain has an embassy in Guatemala City.[18]
 United States 1830 See Guatemala-United States relations

Relations between the United States and Guatemala traditionally have been close, although at times strained by human rights and civil-military issues. U.S. policy objectives in Guatemala include:

The United States, as a member of "the Friends of Guatemala", along with Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Norway, and Venezuela, played an important role in the UN-moderated peace accords. The United States strongly supported the six substantive and three procedural accords, which, along with the signing of the December 29, 1996 final accord, form the blueprint for profound political, economic, and social change. To that end, the U.S. government committed over $500 million to support peace implementation since 1997.

Violent criminal activity continues to be a problem in Guatemala, including murder, rape, and armed assaults. In recent years the number of violent crimes reported by U.S. citizens has steadily increased, though the number of Americans traveling to Guatemala has also increased.

Most U.S. assistance to Guatemala is provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) offices for Guatemala. USAID/Guatemala's current program builds on the gains of the peace process that followed the signing of the peace accords in December 1996, as well as on the achievements of its 1997–2004 peace program. The current program works to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by focusing on Guatemala's potential as Central America's largest economy and trading partner of the United States, but also recognizes the country's lagging social indicators and widespread poverty. The three areas of focus for USAID/Guatemala's program are modeled after the Millennium Challenge Account areas—ruling justly, economic freedom, and investing in people.

Multilateral relations[edit]

The Central American Ministers of Trade meet on a regular basis to work on regional approaches to trade issues. In March 1998, Guatemala joined its Central American neighbors in signing a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). In 2000 it joined Honduras and El Salvador in signing a free trade agreement with Mexico, which went into effect in 2001. Guatemala also originated the idea for, and is the seat of, the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN).

Guatemala participates in several regional groups, particularly those related to the environment and trade. For example, US President Clinton and the Central American presidents signed the CONCAUSA (Conjunto Centroamerica-USA) agreement at the Summit of the Americas in December 1994. CONCAUSA is a cooperative plan of action to promote clean, efficient energy use; conserve the region's biodiversity; strengthen legal and institutional frameworks and compliance mechanisms; and improve and harmonize environmental protection standards.

Illicit drugs: Guatemala is a transit country for cocaine shipments; minor producer of illicit opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; active eradication program in 1996 effectively eliminated the cannabis crop; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (cocaine shipments).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]