France’s Foreign Minister calls on Venezuela to refrain from any ‘unilateral action’ against Guyana


France has joined other international countries in their call for Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be respected in light of the ongoing border controversy with Venezuela.

Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna urged Venezuela to “refrain from any unilateral action.”

The French diplomat made the call as she engaged Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali on the development in the territorial spat between the two South American countries.

“France calls on Venezuela to refrain from any unilateral action. The Minister also emphasised France’s commitment to the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes, including recourse to the International Court of Justice,” the France Diplomacy posted on their website.

Colonna said that France called on the parties to “fully implement” the ICJ’s (International Court of Justice) decisions, particularly its December 1 ruling that Venezuela should not take any action to seize control of Guyana’s Essequibo region.

Dr. Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana (Photo: DPI/ November 01, 2023.)

There have been numerous calls for the region to remain a zone of peace, and for Venezuela to meaningfully participate in the case before the ICJ.

The border controversy is squarely before the World Court and Guyana hopes for a final, binding settlement that reaffirms the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the existing boundary between itself and Venezuela.

Many countries view Venezuela’s recent actions, including a sham referendum and redrawing its map to include Guyana’s Essequibo region, as a threat to the peace and stability of the region.

President Ali and Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro are scheduled to meet in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday.

At an emergency meeting last Friday, Heads of the Government of CARICOM had urged the two leaders to explore the possibility of meeting in light of the tension over the border controversy.

And following a series of consultation, President Ali had agreed to participate in the meeting. However, the Head of State has reiterated that that the border controversy will not be discussed at this meeting.

He has consistently said he is willing to engage his Venezuelan counterpart on any shared matter but not the controversy since that is squarely before the ICJ.

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