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Guyana and Venezuela in talks over detained ship

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October 18, 2013 02:01 PM EST | AP

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana — GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — The governments of Venezuela and Guyana said Friday they have agreed to more talks on a border dispute that prompted the Venezuelan navy to detain a ship charted by a U.S. oil company.

The two governments issued a joint statement assuring that they have "excellent relations" and believe that dialogue is the best way to reach a solution.

But there won't be a quick end to this decades-long dispute. The statement said the only agreement so far is to have technical teams from both sides meet in four months to discuss how to proceed.

Diplomats met Thursday in Trinidad, a week after Venezuela detained a ship chartered by U.S.-based Anadarko Petroleum as it conducted exploration activities in disputed waters. Guyana says the crew and ship will be released soon.

          The Venezuela admiral in charge of the region, Angel Belisario Martinez, told The Associated Press that the Teknik Perdana and its crew are is free to go and that port officials are waiting for it to request departure.

          "The ship is not being held by any Venezuelan authority," he said Friday from Margarita Island, where the ship has been anchored since being detained a week earlier in disputed waters off neighboring Guyana.