Venezuela says will not take part in ICJ border controversy case

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With just one week left before the hearing of the border controversy case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Venezuela has reiterated that it will not participate in the process and has invited Guyana to renew negotiations.

In an official communique, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza stated that “Venezuela will abstain from appearing at [the] hearings,” which are set to begin on June 30.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister posted the communique to Twitter.

Venezuela has argued that the ICJ does not have the jurisdiction to settle the decades-old border controversy case.

In the communique, Arreaza also invited Guyana to renew negotiations under the Geneva Agreement.

“[Venezuela] sincerely invites the sister Republic Cooperative of Guyana to renew the negotiation to which both nations are bound by virtue of the Geneva agreement…with the purpose of reaching amicably an acceptable and satisfactory practical arrangement for both republics,” the document stated.

The border case was scheduled to be heard on March 23 at the Peace Palace in The Hague but it was postponed due to the deadly Coronavirus.

Venezuela lays claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass including this country’s exclusive economic zone where more than eight billion barrels of oil deposits have been discovered.

The matter was settled in an 1899 tribunal which Venezuela agreed and signed on to, but in 2015 Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro renewed the claim at the height of political instability and deplorable economic conditions.

The case was referred to the ICJ at the end of 2017 by the UN Secretary General.

The ICJ announced in May that the public hearings of the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy will begin on June 30, at the Peace Palace in The Hague at 2 p.m. by videoconference.

 

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