US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touches down in Guyana
A United States Government aircraft carrying U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touched down in Guyana shortly after 5 PM on Thursday at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
Pompeo was greeted at the airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and a team from the United States Embassy in Georgetown, including Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch.
Pompeo, who is here for less than 24 hours, will be escorted directly to State House in Georgetown where he will meet with President Irfaan Ali during “a working dinner.” He is expected to be welcomed at State House with a military salute.
On Friday President Ali and Mr Pompeo will sign an agreement that will permit Guyana to improve its investment enabling environment so that the country can benefit from transparent infrastructure investment that respects Guyana’s sovereignty, a senior state department official said on Wednesday.
The United States and Guyana will also exchange diplomatic notes for joint maritime patrols to interdict narcotics.
According to the State Department, Pompeo will also discuss with Guyana’s leaders the impact on their country of the crisis in Venezuela, which is the hemisphere’s largest refugee and humanitarian crisis.
He is expected to formally meet and hold extended talks with Foreign Minister Todd and Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community Irwin Laroque on Friday too. Pompeo’s visit to Guyana is seen as historic since he is the highest-ranking U.S government official to visit here.
He was also very critical of the recent protracted election process in Guyana, insisting that a government needed to be formed from the figures generated from a national recount exercise. His visit is seen as a celebration that democracy has triumphed.
Pompeo stopped in Suriname on his was here earlier on Thursday and is expected to stop in Brazil when he leaves here and then onto Colombia before returning to Texas.