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Apr 26, 2001

Negotiations conclude in Washington

A joint communiqué has been issued by the Belizean and Guatemalan delegations following the conclusion of two days of talks at the OAS in Washington. As reported in this newscast yesterday, no breakthroughs were expected and the major result of the talks seems to be the reiteration of an agreement to resolve the situation at Edwards Central. To that end, the International Organisation for Migration has been asked to begin a census of the illegal settlement two point nine kilometres inside Belizean territory as well as investigate the presence of any other illegal communities inside the one kilometre wide adjacency zone on the Belize side of the border. While the latest round of talks did not deal with the substantive issues of the Guatemalan claim, oral arguments have been set for May twenty-first through twenty-third in Washington. It is also worth noting that Foreign Minister Gabriel Orellana, originally scheduled to head the Guatemalan delegation, did not appear in Washington and his vice minister, Ramiro Ordonez, served in his stead. This is the second time Orellana has been a no-show; the first coming on September nineteenth of last year when the ministerial level delegation and facilitators met for a familiarisation tour of Belize.

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