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Mar 22, 2006

CARICOM foreign ministers meet with U.S. Sec. of State

In news involving Belize on the international stage our diplomats and soldiers are very much on the move. Today in the Bahamas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Godfrey Smith, along with his CARICOM colleagues, met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. The topics of discussion were wide ranging and included trade, development, governance, and crime and security matters. Smith’s brief was to speak on the issue of U.S./Caribbean cooperation in dealing with natural disasters. According to a GOB press release, Smith stressed the need for the basing of a U.S. Hurricane Hunter aircraft in the Eastern Caribbean as part of an early warning system for hurricanes.

While Smith deals with the U.S. in the Caribbean, his predecessor, Assad Shoman, leads a delegation to Guatemala City for the third Belize-Guatemala Ministerial meeting. The two-day gathering, which begins on Thursday, is expected to centre on maritime issues.

Also leaving Belize is a forty-five person B.D.F. contingent headed to Jamaica for the annual Tradewinds training exercise. The soldiers are led by Captain Lionel Cuthkelvin. The contingent also includes twelve members of the Belize Coast Guard and fifteen police officers. The exercise concludes on April seventh.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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