Joint U.S, Guyana maritime patrols to combat narco-trafficking to start Monday
Guyana and the United States on Friday morning officially entered into a bilateral Shiprider Agreement which will come into effect as early as next Monday and which will enable joint maritime and airspace patrols to interdict narcotics.
The signing was done at State House – President Irfaan Ali’s official residence – between Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is currently on an official visit to the South American region.
It was noted that operations will not be carried out in Guyana’s waters unless permission is granted by Guyanese authorities.
It was Pompeo who clarified that the new security agreement to combat narcotic trafficking will come into effect by next Monday.
In keeping with his proposed agenda for his visit to Guyana, Pompeo also signed a Growth in the Americas Memorandum of Understanding with Minister Todd.
This agreement seeks to draw more U.S. private sector investment to build Guyana’s physical infrastructure, energy sector, and digital economy, and to do so transparently.
The United States is the primary source of Guyana’s imports, worth more than $2 billion.
Secretary Pompeo pointed out that Guyana is the second Caribbean country to sign onto the Growth in the Americas Memorandum of Understanding.
He believes this investment model will deliver real benefits to the people of Guyana and the United States.
“The two agreements we signed this morning are not disconnected… there is lots of conversation about more foreign direct investment, the United States model is to bring out the best things about your country and we don’t do so with political strings tied to them or engaged in activities that are corrupt,” Pompeo told the press.
President Ali welcomed the signing of the agreement saying that he anticipates that it will stimulate the private sector environment in areas of energy and infrastructure
“It will also pave the way for U.S private sector to expand its investment portfolio and partner with local private sector entities…it will allow us to meet our development needs and drive job creation,” the Guyanese President said.
President Ali was also pleased that Guyana and the United States will deepen cooperation in the area of maritime security through joint patrols.
Pompeo who arrived in Guyana Thursday afternoon will leave Guyana later on Friday, destined to Brazil.