Border dispute: Venezuela calls on Guyana to reject any external “interference”: News

Border dispute: Venezuela calls on Guyana to reject any external “interference”: News

Venezuela on Thursday called on Guyana to reject any outside “interference” in the dispute between the two countries over the Guyana-administered oil-rich Essequibo region claimed by Caracas.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ivan Gil and his Guyanese counterpart, Hugh Hilton Todd, met on Thursday in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, to discuss this dispute, which since the end of 2023 has raised fears of a conflict in the region.

A summit in December in St. Vincent and the Grenadines between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guyana's Irfaan Ali led to a reduction in tensions, with both sides ruling out any “use of force.”

But tensions rose again with the arrival of a British warship in Guyanese waters and military exercises organized by Venezuela in response.

At the end of Thursday's meeting, the Venezuelan minister urged Guyana to “totally reject the possibility of third parties interfering or benefiting” from this conflict.

It is important to feel the import of tracer “a path to the dispute” to control the dispute through the diplomatic voice, requesting his voice to “reaffirm that the parties are not in the menaces or invoquer the usage.” Power”.

It was a “very frank and open discussion,” Evan Gill added.

For his part, the Guyanese Minister stressed that his country remains “committed to resolving the dispute (…) in a very peaceful manner.”

However, Hugh Hilton Todd reiterated his country's position: As for Guyana, it is up to the International Court of Justice to decide the dispute. However, Caracas does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

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The meeting, which was attended by the head of Brazilian diplomacy, Mauro Vieira, allowed the two parties to express “their differences, the most important of which is that Guyana wants a solution through the International Court of Justice, which Venezuela does not recognize,” according to a source in Brazil. The Foreign Ministry summarized to AFP.

Brazil, which shares borders with both countries, is playing the role of mediator in the crisis under the leadership of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

– “Keep the dialogue going” –

The long-running dispute between Caracas and Georgetown resurfaced after Guyana launched oil tenders in September 2023, then held a referendum in response on December 3 in Venezuela on the annexation of the Essequibo River.

Since then, the two countries have stuck to their positions.

On the one hand, Georgetown reiterates that it has sovereignty over “the entirety” of its territory and that everything must pass through the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Guyana says the border, which dates back to the English colonial era, was ratified in 1899 by an arbitration court in Paris.

On the other hand, Caracas continues to chant the slogan “Venezuela’s sun shines on Essequibo” and demands negotiations outside the International Court of Justice.

Caracas believes that the Geneva Agreement signed in 1966 – before Guyana's independence – lays the foundation for a negotiated settlement that must continue, and emphasizes that the Essequibo River should be the natural border, as it was in 1777 during the era of the Spanish Empire.

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Essequibo has an area of ​​160,000 square kilometres, is rich in oil and natural resources, and is inhabited by about 125,000 people, or one-fifth of Guyana's population, and represents two-thirds of the country's area.

Before the Brasilia meeting, Iván Rojas, a Venezuelan professor specializing in international relations, believed that this meeting mainly aims to “keep the dialogue open.” “No more, no less”.

Posted on January 26 at 12:03 a.m., AFP

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