Guyana to Discuss Its Border Dispute with Venezuela at CARICOM Summit

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President David Granger
President David GrangerGuyana says it will raise the border issue it has with Venezuela at the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Inter-sessional summit that began in Belize yesterday.

In addition, President David Granger will travel to New York later this week for talks with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to push for a judicial settlement on the issue ahead of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Agreement.

“February 17 is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Agreement, and the Secretary General has specific responsibilities under the Geneva Agreement. Guyana has already signaled to him, in no uncertain terms, that we are prepared to go forward to have a juridical settlement and we are calling on him to exercise his mandate in accordance with the Geneva Agreement,” President Granger said ahead of his departure for Belmopan, adding “We emphasized the role that he has to play.”

Granger said that Venezuela is continuing its claim to Guyana’s territory and has also launched a “propaganda offensive” indicating that the Geneva Agreement invalidated the 1899 Tribunal Agreement.

“There is nothing in the Geneva Agreement which suggests an invalidation of an international agreement, by which borders have been drawn 116 years ago.

“Nothing in this agreement deprives Guyana of any territory and this is the message we are sending, but in addition to that we are looking to the United Nations Secretary General to perform the functions, which have been given to him under the Geneva Agreement and bring this matter to a swift and successful conclusion. We are quite fed up of the Venezuelan aggression and harassment,” Granger said.

The Geneva Agreement allows for the UN Ambassador to choose, as one of his options, a juridical settlement to the dispute. Guyana has indicated that it prefers such a settlement.

“Venezuela has not agreed to the line that Guyana has taken, that is, to proceed to juridical settlement and Venezuela is attempting to use the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Agreement to falsely convey the notion that the Geneva Agreement somehow or the other invalidates the 1899 Accord,” Granger said, noting that despite the Secretary General’s intervention last year, Caracas is still to accredit Guyana’s ambassador to that country.

“A lot of the actions that the Venezuelans have taken over the past years have driven investors out. This must be the last year that Guyana has to suffer the indignities and aggressions of Venezuela. We look forward to having a juridical settlement so that we can pursue the development of our natural resources,” President Granger said.

Read more at www.jamaicaobserver.com

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