Top U.S official restates support for Guyana’s sovereign right
United States of America Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols has added his voice to calls for Guyana’s sovereign right to be respected.
Ambassador Nichols in a direct tweet on Wednesday said: “The U.S. supports Guyana’s sovereign right to develop its own natural resources.”
Efforts to infringe upon Guyana’s sovereignty, he added, are unacceptable.
His tweet, signed BAN, comes one day after the Government of Venezuela issued a statement rejecting Guyana’s ongoing oil auction.
“We call on Venezuela to respect international law, including the 1899 arbitral award & the ongoing ICJ process btwn Guyana & Vzla. –BAN,” Nichols wrote.
His support is for a juridical settlement to the border controversy with Venezuela.
The ongoing auction could see new companies being able to search for and possibly produce oil offshore Guyana but Venezuela, in its claim to Guyana’s Essequibo, believes the move is undesirable.
In response to the very statement, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said Guyana has the right to develop resources in any part of its territory.
The Guyanese Head of State reaffirmed that the territory being claimed by Venezuela belongs to Guyana.
“The Government of Guyana reserves the right to pursue economic development activities in any portion of its sovereign territory or any appurtenant maritime territories,” he said.
Venezuela claims it owns Guyana’s Essequibo region, and a portion of the country’s exclusive economic zone that includes areas under oil exploration, but that border case is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The World Court already found that it has the jurisdiction to preside over the matter and Guyana has submitted its memorial on the merits of its case.
Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgement that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.