Canada renews support for Guyana; calls for peaceful, diplomatic settlement of border controversy with Venezuela

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali with Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen

The Canadian Government has reiterated its support for Guyana in the ongoing border controversy with Venezuela, calling for the peaceful and diplomatic settlement of the decades-old issue between the two South American nations.

Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen, made these statements this morning during the historic signing of a CAD120 million Sovereign Loan Programme agreement with the Guyana Government.

Minister Hussen declared, “We in Canada and the Canadian government [are] concerned with the ongoing tensions between Guyana and Venezuela. We stand with the Guyanese people, we stand with the government, and we call for the respect of international law. Please rest assured… that Canada supports Guyana’s territorial integrity, and as in any dispute, we hope for a peaceful and diplomatic settlement to this matter.”

The Canadian Minister is in Guyana on a two-day visit.

Earlier today, President Dr Irfaan Ali held a bilateral meeting with Minister Hussen and his team including Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana Mark Berman at State House in Georgetown.

Discussions between the officials centred on strengthening and expanding bilateral relations between Guyana and Canada.

As the current Chair of CARICOM, President Ali also discussed how Canada can expand its relationship with the entire region.

Officials of the Guyanese and Canadian Governments at State House in Georgetown, Guyana

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh; Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag; Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, and Director of Presidential Affairs, Marcia Nadir-Sharma, were also part of the meeting.

Venezuela continues to lay claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass, the Essequibo, and a portion of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in which almost 11 billion barrels of oil have been discovered over the past eight years, and in which oil production activities are ongoing.

In 2018, Guyana moved to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a final and binding ruling on the October 3, 1899 Arbitral Award to settle the longstanding border controversy.