EU professes trust for Guyana’s Gov’t & talks up new “political” relationship
By Kurt Campbell
The European Union (EU) in the clearest signal yet on Tuesday announced a restructuring and strengthening of the decades-old relationship it holds with Guyana.
It came as the grouping announced the disbursement of a final tranche of 7.5 million Euros in budget support for the country but said it was by no means the end of a contract partnership that will see continued bilateral support for several years to come.
“We trust this country, we trust this government,” Deputy Managing Director for the Americas European External Action Service (EEAS) Javier Nino Perez said as he spoke in clear terms of an enhanced political relationship between Guyana and the EU.
“I come with a message of commitment and hope to build a geo-strategic partnership that goes well beyond what we had in past and one with many fronts.
“We want to be partners of Guyana and we want to be political friends of Guyana because we both face the same challenges, believe in same principles, and have the same objective,” Perez told a joint press conference with President Irfaan Ali at the Office of the President on Tuesday.
The high-ranking EU official observed that Guyana was respectful of human rights, believes in multilateralism, believes in a market economy, and promotes a societal system that puts humans at the center.
“We want to build, we want to reinforce a true political relation with Guyana,” he iterated.
President Ali was in full support of advancing the redefined political relationship. He said it was about how the EU could be a stronger partner for Guyana and vice versa.
“That is what this visit is about. Chartering that strategic way forward.
“What we are creating is a political partnership and that’s important to understand. A political partnership, that’s not the language you hear from international organizations often,” the Guyanese Head of State reasoned.
Dr. Ali said there will be stronger discussions on regional and international issues, governance, and democracy. He credited the transformation of Guyana’s profile at the regional and international levels, saying more work will have to go into supporting that transformation.
But even with a new political relationship, Guyana and the EU are also looking to improve trade relations and Dr. Ali said the private sector must position itself and be involved.
“It’s not only about budget support, it is much more than that.”
The EU committed to continued operational cooperation with the country and helping to untap new potential.
“This is a time of hope and untapping the real potential of the country, this is a time to be warm-hearted but cool heated about what lies ahead,” Perez added.