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Aug 28, 2002

No proposals package yet in Bz/Guat talks

Tonight both Belizeans and Guatemalans are patiently waiting for the outcome of negotiations regarding the settlement of the centuries old territorial dispute. Delegations from both sides of the border remain behind closed doors as the respective representatives try to hash out a proposal package that will be acceptable to Belizeans and Guatemalans alike. The discussions are being held in Washington, D.C. with Belize being represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Assad Shoman and Ambassadors Fred Martinez, Eamon Courtenay, Lisa Shoman, and Salvador Figueroa. If a set of recommendations is arrived at, the Belizeans will then return home accompanied by facilitator Sir Shridath Ramphal and an O.A.S. official. Once the proposals are reviewed by the government and Opposition, it will then be presented to the public. Sixty days after the recommendations are in hand, Belize and Guatemala will hold simultaneous referendums to decide on the settlement. Guatemala has continuously maintained a claim to more than half of Belize.

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