Zone of peace at risk if Guyana/Venezuela border controversy not expeditiously resolved- Greenidge

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(Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Guyana- Thursday, March 16, 2017) Vice-President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, has emphasised that a zone of peace is at risk of destabilisation if the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy is not expeditiously resolved.

Mr. Greenidge made these remarks during a lecture that he delivered at the University of Havana on Tuesday (March 14, 2017).

“The challenge for Guyana as a small State is to encourage the international community to bring the matter to a conclusion as it not only affects Guyana and Venezuela, but the surrounding zone of peace as well,” he stated.

Noting that the inexorable demands of Venezuela have been continuous since the controversy restarted in 1962, Minister Greenidge said the ingenuity of Dag Halvor Nylander, the Personal Representative recently appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General under the Good Offices process of the 1966 Geneva Agreement, will be tested in bringing the controversy to a resolution.

Outlining the history leading to the definition of Guyana’s borders in 1899, the Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that Venezuela’s claim that the Arbitral Award of 1899 is null and void had never been justified.

He further expressed his appreciation that Cuba had continued to play the role as an honest broker in maintaining a peaceful approach, facilitating dialogue towards ensuring a resolution.

The controversy has been ongoing with Venezuela laying claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory. It was restarted in 1962, four years before Guyana became independent. Since 1982, Venezuela has been expanding its claims to include Guyana’s maritime space.

On 27 February this year, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres appointed Dag Halvor Nylander as his Personal Representative on the Border Controversy between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Also present at Tuesday’s event were His Excellency Halim Majeed, Ambassador of Guyana to Cuba, Dr. Gustavo Cobreiro Suárez, Rector of the University of Havana, Dr. Antonio Romero Gómez, President of the Chair of Caribbean Studies at the University of Havana, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society representatives and University of Havana faculty, staff and students.

The Guyanese Vice-President and Foreign Affairs Minister was in Havana to participate in the fifth meeting of Foreign Ministers of CARICOM and Cuba. He also had bilateral talks with his Cuban counterpart, His Excellency Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

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