US support for Guyana in border controversy is ‘ironclad’ – Top US official for Arms Control and Int’l Security

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The US’ top official for arms control and international security has stated that the US government’s support for Guyana in the border controversy is unbreakable.

“We are very supportive of your government and Guyana, very much support your sovereignty; we want to make clear to you that our commitment is ironclad,” said Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

Jenkins spoke to reporters at a briefing held at the US Embassy in Georgetown after she met with numerous local security and government stakeholders in Guyana.

Pressed about concerns over the illegal gun trade and the buildup of Venezuelan troops in it’s border region, Jenkins emphasised that US and Guyana authorities are having regular conversations on maintaining peace and security.

She also said that the US is working with both Guyanese and Caribbean authorities on curbing the illegal gun trade in the region, with the US placing an export ban on illegal arms.

Outside of direct efforts to maintain peace and security, Jenkins said there is sound information sharing and collaboration between Guyana and the US, though relations can always be improved.

“(The border controversy) is another area where we are working very closely with your government,” said Jenkins.

Guyana continues to seek international support, having informed regional and global partners about Venezuela’s aggressive posture and threat of annexation of the resource-rich Essequibo region.

Venezuela carried out a referendum on the annexation and this decision was ratified by its legislative council.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) recently issued a ruling barring Venezuela from taking any actions based on the referendum while the Court decides on the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award, which had established the boundary between the two countries.

The ICJ had asserted that Guyana has controlled and exercised sovereignty over the Essequibo from the time of the arbitral award and Venezuela should not take any action which alter the established border.

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