U.S. Gov’t tells Venezuela to respect Guyana’s sovereignty

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The United States Government Sunday afternoon said it was watching developments after Guyana lodged complaints of an incursion by Venezuelan military into Guyanese waters.

“We are monitoring reports that the Venezuelan Navy may have interfered with vessels operating on behalf of ExxonMobil,” Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson for the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted.

“We underscore that Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone,” he added.

He further tweeted: “We call on #Venezuela to respect international law and the sovereignty of its neighbors.”

The Venezuelan Government Sunday afternoon said it wants to re-establish direct dialogue with Guyana after its Army forced out a research vessel operating at sea under Guyanese licence.

The settlement of the more than century-old border controversy has been referred to the International Court of Justice, but Venezuelan is refusing to participate in the process and had said it wanted the matter resolved through friendly negotiations.

As far as Guyana is concerned, the time for talk is over on that subject, preferring a legally-binding settlement in court.

ExxonMobil’s Norwegian contractor PGS was operating the research vessel – the Ramform Tethys – when it intercepted by the Venezuelan navy at 10.30 hours on Saturday.

The vessel, with 70 crew onboard, was ordered to leave the area and the Navy retreated.

The Guyana Government called the move Venezuela’s “latest act of illegality and blatant disrespect for Guyana’s sovereignty.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the vessel was intercepted in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Guyana at a position of N 09 deg 17.19 min / W 058 deg 16.20 min at an approximate distance of 140 Km from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela.

After decades of dialogue failed, On January 30th last, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres chose adjudication by the International Court of Justice Court as the means for resolving the controversy with finality.

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