Guyana, Venezuela agree region must remain a zone of peace

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President of Guyana Dr Irfaan Ali and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Even as talks continue between Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali and President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, the two sides have already agreed that the region must remain a zone of peace.

“Both parties committed to ensuring the region remains a zone of peace,” President Ali told a news conference after almost seven hours of engagements since his arrival at the Argyle International Airport in St Vincent and the Grenadines for high level talks with the Venezuelan President.

The meeting is currently continuing.

However, so far, the two sides had an opportunity to outline their respective positions.

“We made it very clear that Guyana is not the aggressor, Guyana is not seeking war, but Guyana deserves the right to work with all of our partners to ensure the defence of our country,” he explained.

President Ali said he also made it clear to Maduro and his delegation that Guyana has all the right to exercise its sovereignty within its territorial space; to approve of and facilitate any development, any investment, partnership, training, collaboration, and cooperation; the issuing of any licence, and the granting of any concession within its territorial and sovereign space.

President Ali added, “I made it clear that the controversy must be resolved at the ICJ (International Court of Justice), and we are unwavering and resolute in ensuring that Guyana’s case is presented, defended, and that the ICJ will issue its decision on the merits of the case, which of course is binding on all the parties.”

The Guyanese leader also outlined that the process leading to the ICJ is part of the Geneva Agreement, and that the Geneva Agreement provides for a UN Secretary General to determine where the controversy must be finally determined.

He posited that it is the UN Secretary General acting within the confines of the Geneva Agreement who determines that that place is the ICJ.

President Ali is accompanied by Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Foreign Minister Hugh Todd, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud, among other officials.

These talks were brokered by St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in his role as President Pro Tempore of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Brazil.