US working with Guyana to modernise defence capabilities – top official

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force during a fitness competition in December 2023

Guyana is actively seeking to take its defence capabilities to newer heights, and it is an area where the United States has offered support in ensuring that this process leads to a strategic and sustainable military mechanism.

Sharing outcomes of his two-day visit to Guyana, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for the Western Hemisphere at the United States Department of Defense, Daniel P Erikson on Tuesday engaged media operatives at the US Embassy.

The top US official had scheduled meetings with members of the Guyana Government, Guyana Defence Force (GDF), and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders to discuss the US defense and security partnerships.

As he spoke on these outcomes, the DASD underscored that Guyana and the United States share a strong bilateral foundation for future co-operation on defence and security.

He outlined that the active conversation is premised on how the country’s defence system should be modernised and the scope of such an undertaking.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary added that he foresees a time in the future where Guyana will seek to expand its maritime and aerial assets beyond what exists currently.

Meanwhile, asked how the US envisions working with regional stakeholders amid the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela, Erikson highlighted that the meeting between Guyanese President, Dr Irfaan Ali and Venezuela President, Nicolas Maduro was followed closely.

He positioned that the United States supports the continuation of respect for Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In responding to the question of the US sending its troops here to bolster local defence capabilities, Erikson pointed out that since the matter has reached a point of relative de-escalation, it is important to maintain peace and stability across the hemisphere.

This, he said, is achievable through diplomatic channels.