With ‘serious interest’ in Guyana, UAE President to visit next year
By Vishani Ragobeer in Dubai
The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will visit Guyana next year as part of what Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali describes as that country’s “serious interest” in the development of the South American nation.
President Ali in is Dubai, UAE, for this year’s global climate talks called COP28.
But the President told the News Room he isn’t only there to talk about Guyana’s ambitious climate plans. Instead, he is spending the few days he has there engaging as many bilateral partners as he possibly can.
And the President of the UAE was one of the first leaders he met on Wednesday. The two leaders discussed food security, energy development, climate change, defence cooperation and investments.
In each area, President Ali said, the UAE is ready and willing to deepen ties with Guyana.
“The UAE has a very strong interest in the transformation of Guyana, investing in Guyana [and] finding ways they can participate in the investment of our economy.
“Of course, he has committed to visiting Guyana in the new year,” President Ali announced during an interview with the News Room in Dubai.
Further, the President said the two nations will soon craft a development pact. Already, the UAE is establishing a full-fledged embassy in Guyana.
With all those plans and more in the pipeline, President Ali said the UAE has a serious commitment to its relationship with Guyana.
Outside of the burgeoning partnership, the two leaders also discussed the ongoing border controversy with Venezuela. President Ali said he updated the Middle Eastern leader on the “reckless” comments and actions Venezuela’s leaders have been pursuing.
According to President Ali, his Middle Eastern counterpart signalled his support for the resolution of that controversy at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Guyana has committed itself to the ICJ process where it hopes it can get a final, binding settlement of the border controversy with Venezuela. It hopes that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the existing boundary between itself and Venezuela, will be reaffirmed.
Venezuela is, however, pursuing a referendum on December 3 that many fear the country may use as a trigger to annex the portion of Guyana the Spanish-speaking nation claims. The area Venezuela claims is the Essequibo region which covers two-thirds of Guyana’s total land mass.
Guyana has objected to this and is seeking the ICJ’s help in blocking questions in that referendum that interfere with its (Guyana’s) sovereignty and territorial integrity. The ICJ will rule on this request on Friday.
Meanwhile, President Ali also met King Charles III and the new British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron in Dubai on Thursday.
In an invited comment following his meeting with Cameron, a former British Prime Minister, President Ali said the United Kingdom restated their commitment to support Guyana in its position that an arbitration award of 1899 settled the boundary line between Guyana and Venezuela.