U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced Wednesday that four-party talks to address several long-standing water policy conflicts that exist between the state of North Dakota and the province of Manitoba will be held on October 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C.
Participants will include Senator Dorgan, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, Senator Kent Conrad and Congressman Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota.
Dorgan has been working with both ambassadors to set up the discussions, which will include representatives of both federal governments, as well as delegations from the state of North Dakota and the province of Manitoba. The Senator said he believes that the agreement to begin these talks is a very promising sign.
"A number of challenging issues have been the subject of disagreement for years or even decades," Dorgan said. "I understand these issues are complex and difficult, but I am hopeful that we can make progress. It is in interest of both countries to solve these problems, and the willingness of all of the parties to come together to talk through potential solutions is very encouraging."
If sufficient progress is made, it is expected that further discussion will be scheduled.