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Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala Meet at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Belmopan. May 9th, 2013. The delegation of Belize led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington met on May 8, 2013, with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carrera and the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza at OAS Headquarters. The meeting, held at the invitation of the OAS Secretary General, was convened to discuss the next steps in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6 October 2013.

The meeting proceeded in a constructive spirit, with both delegations reiterating the need to seek an early resolution to the age old dispute, despite the present obstacles to the holding of the referenda in October 2013. It was also agreed that essential to the expediting of the process was the need to enhance the confidence levels in both countries by strengthening Confidence Building Measures. The parties agreed that the prolongation of the dispute is not conducive to building stronger bilateral ties, nor does it contribute to furthering the regional integration process. Belize took the opportunity to emphasize that the existence of the dispute represented an unsustainable cost for Belize, from the environmental, economic and security perspectives.

The meeting explored various ways of ensuring that the commitment to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice, as contemplated in the Special Agreement is maintained and acted upon in the shortest possible time.

Secretary General Insulza agreed to convene a subsequent Ministerial level meeting to confirm the way forward by June 2013.

The Belize delegation was comprised of the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Alexis Rosado, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon. John BriceƱo, Representative of the Leader of the Opposition, H.E. Alfredo Martinez, Ambassador of Belize in Guatemala, and H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize in the United States of America.

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