English delegation praises Guatemala's efforts to end border dispute
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Visiting members of the English parliament said
Monday they were impressed with Guatemala's efforts toward a peaceful solution
to its festering border dispute with neighboring Belize.
Five members of England's parliament and one member of its House of Lords
arrived here Monday night for a five-day visit with top Guatemalan officials to
discuss the environment, children's rights and the conflict with Belize.
"Since we've been here we've heard nothing to make us believe that the
Guatemalan government doesn't want to settle this dispute through dialogue,"
Christine Russell of the Labor Party said. "The attitude here has been let's talk this
In January, Belizean border guards killed two Guatemalans, reigniting a
century-old border dispute in which Guatemala claims some or all of Belize's
Both countries signed an agreement in June brokered by the Organization
American States designed to stabilize political and trade relations between the
nations and improve communications between their military forces.
But on September 8 Guatemala began fortifying its border with Belize after
farmers complained that Belizean soldiers had crossed illegally into Guatemalan
territory and threatened them. Last week Guatemala's Minister of Foreign
Relations presented a diplomatic complaint about the incident to the Belizean
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.