Border controversy: Gov’t engaging foreign partners to keep Guyana’s sovereignty & territorial integrity intact – President Ali
Though Guyana expects that Venezuela will not defy any order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), President Dr. Irfaan Ali has made it clear that the government is sparing no effort in engaging foreign partners to guarantee the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The President said the government has been engaging all partners and the wider international community on the border controversy with Venezuela.
And now that Venezuela is pursuing a referendum that may set the stage for an annexation of Guyana’s territory that is claimed by the Spanish-speaking nation, the Head of State said his government has been locked in robust engagements around the world.
That includes at the diplomatic level, seeking recourse at the ICJ and even engaging military partners.
“…What is necessary at this time is for us to do everything at every level to ensure that Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is kept intact.
“We are sparing no effort and I am confident that the work we are doing will not only ensure this,” President Ali told reporters at a press conference on Saturday.
He added, “As your President, I am confident that the course Guyana is taking will not only bring us success but will ensure that our region remains a region of peace.”
Outside of diplomatic engagements, the Head of State also highlighted that Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Brigadier Omar Khan has been engaging his counterparts in the Caribbean region and further abroad.
To this end, he said there has been an “aggressive exchange of information” between the GDF and other defence forces.
Asked about any military support, President Ali said Guyana doesn’t believe Venezuela will openly defy any order of the Court or act “recklessly.”
And he alluded to military support from Guyana’s partners should Venezuela take any aggressive action.
“With the work we are doing, we believe that Venezuela would not act in a reckless way.
“However, if they do act in a reckless way…we are assured that Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty will not see our development partners standing aside and allowing anyone to take advantage of us,” the Head of State said.
With all that the country is doing, the President urged persons against falling prey to misinformation and hysteria. He also pleaded with members of the public to only rely on official channels of communication.
That controversy is squarely before the ICJ and Guyana hopes for a final, binding settlement there that reaffirms the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the existing boundary between itself and Venezuela. Essentially, Guyana wants the court to reaffirm that the Essequibo region is its own.