The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge has declared that the Opposition party’s continued criticism of the proposed 2017 National Budget is nothing more than an attempt at national “deconstruction”.
During Thursday’s budget debate, Mr. Greenidge noted that it is especially hard to imagine a Budget debate elsewhere in the world where the Opposition party would lay so much focus on race and ethnicity.
He maintained that the inheritance of significant economic hurdles from an old regime is quite common for a new government, however the selective highlighting of economic shortcomings by the opposition “is uncommon.”
Greenidge told the National Assembly that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016, repeatedly sought to maintain a sound programme which ensures Guyana’s continued sovereignty and integrity, “a year in which we have been actively engaged with the United Nations Secretary General seeking to find a way forward” in the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy”.
He said Venezuela did not do likewise and thus frustrated the UN Secretary General’s efforts at reaching a viable solution.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has promised to offer an assessment of the Guyana/Venezuela row before he leaves office this month.
Minister Greenidge said that until the UN can successfully resolve the issue, diplomacy has to prevail.
He told the National Assembly that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has also been recruiting suitably qualified Ambassadors, while training and preparing other diplomatic personnel.
In endeavors abroad, Guyana successfully established an embassy in Geneva and developed relations with Russia and established a visa exchange program.
The Minister highlighted that the Geneva office facilitates international trade which is very important in that sense.
“The path for Guyana and the Caribbean to greater prosperity, lies in integration”, he told the Assembly, adding that membership in CARICOM remains of utmost importance because the regional body remains critical to Guyana’s future”.