London — Britain and Guatemala Wednesday signed an agreement settling their century-old dispute over the Caribbean colony of Belize, Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington announced. The agreement, signed by Belizean, Guatemalan, and British representatives after four days of secret talks here, paves the way for Belize independence by the end of the year.
Guatemala's territorial claim to Belize, until now had prevented the colony, formerly known as British Honduras, from becoming independent. Britain has kept 1,600 troops there to prevent the possibility of its annexation by neighboring Guatemala. Last November the UN voted 139 to 0 that the colony become ind ependent this year.