The plot surrounding Guyana and Venezuela thickens as President Irfaan Ali stated that Guyana will not engage with Venezuela regarding the border dispute but President Ali is prepared to speak to Nicholas Maduro to discuss building a fruitful relationship between the two nations.
President Irfaan Ali believes that since the matter is being addressed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), there is little need for dialogue on it, especially since Venezuela has been making outrageous claims regarding the disputed territories.
With the judgement to be rendered by the ICJ, likely to go in favour of Guyana, President Ali is not keen on discussing terms with Venezuela.
On the other hand, there are many issues between the two nations which leave both leaders with common ground, something that would likely be highlighted in a conversation between the them.
During a press conference on Saturday, President Irfaan Ali clarified that his openness towards discussing common issues with his Venezuelan counterpart is a reflection of Guyana’s grounded and responsible approach, despite the issues between the two nations.
“As a good neighbour, understanding that we live in the same regions and share the same space, understanding that there are important issues that must be addressed together, I have always said that I am prepared to meet on this matter and address those issues as all good neighbours do.” Ali stated.
“We have chosen the ICJ as the place where the controversy from Venezuela must be settled. The matter is properly before the court so it is not up for negotiations and discussions” he added.
President Ali’s trepidations towards discussing the border dispute stem from the fact that the two nations have failed to resolve the issue between themselves for decades.
Subsequently, the UN Secretary General referred the issue to the World Court. Guyana officially filed a case March 2018, initiating the process at an international judicial level.
This process follows the stipulations presented in the Geneva Agreement, allowing the UN Secretary General to intervene.
This agreement was signed by then Prime Minister of Guyana, Forbes Burnham and Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Borges in 1966. This came following Venezuela’s objection to the 1899 arbitral award, settling the boundaries of Guyana.
The President has also made it clear that Guyana is engaging with international partners to resolve the border issue with Venezuela through recognized diplomatic channels.
“…What is necessary at this time is for us to do everything at every level to ensure that Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is kept intact. We are sparing no effort and I am confident that the work we are doing will not only ensure this,” President Ali said.
“As your President, I am confident that the course Guyana is taking will not only bring us success but will ensure that our region remains a region of peace.”