‘We will defend what is ours’- Pres. Ali assures Guyanese of continued peaceful relations with Venezuela

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Guyana remains peaceful in its approach to resolve the longstanding border controversy with neighbouring Venezuela and continues to call on the Bolivarian Republic to participate fully in the legally-binding settlement before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

And at the finalization of that process, expected in the near future, Guyana’s Head of State, Dr. Irfaan Ali says both sides must respect the outcome.

“We as a neighbour remains constant and peaceful in our approach in resolving this matter and having it concluded at the ICJ.

“Resolution of the Court assures both parties of the final binding and permanent settlement that is equitable, just and consistent with international law,” President Ali said on Saturday.

He spoke during a live update on Saturday, broadcast from State House – the official residence of the President.

Earlier this week, Guyana was forced to respond to a number of statements issued by the Government of Venezuela and other senior functionaries in relation to the controversy.

President Ali said the statements are “contradictory” to peace.

However, he assured that Guyana has “subscribed and submitted” itself to the process which is being carried out by the ICJ.

“We also encourage Venezuela to fully participate in this process in the ICJ and to ensure that they respect the outcome,” the President urged.

“The Government of Guyana will continue to strenuously defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It endeavors to this end to remain premise on respect for the rule of law,” President Ali added.

He explained, “I want to assure all Guyanese that we are going to consistently defend what is ours that is Essequibo.  In a strong way, in the framework of international law and peace and we are together in this as nation. Make no mistake. Guyana is together on this. We as a people and as a country are aware of our boundaries and we respect our neighbours and we continue to promote living and existing in a zone of peace and we reject totally Venezuela attempt to disrupt the peace within this nation and this zone.”

The Venezuelan Government on Tuesday issued a statement rejecting Guyana’s ongoing oil auction which would see new companies being able to search for and possibly produce oil offshore Guyana.

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 ICJ.

In that statement, Venezuela rejected Guyana’s ongoing oil auction which would see new companies being able to search for and possibly produce oil offshore Guyana.

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