Argyle Talks have set the stage for good neighbourly relations with Venezuela -Foreign Secretary

Argyle Talks have set the stage for good neighbourly relations with Venezuela -Foreign Secretary

Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud has described the recent meeting between President Irfaan Ali and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a success, noting that not only did it quell the tension which was escalating at the time, but it has also set the stage for good relations between the two countries beyond the border controversy.

During an interview on NCN, Mr. Persaud said while the border controversy remains most important, there are other areas of co-operation the two countries as neighbours can work on.

“We have many issues that we can work together on and we need to work together on, dealing with issues of transnational crime, management of the environment, dealing with issues of migration and migrants, economic relations, Venezuela is a huge potential market for many years we have been a primary exporter of rice and other protect to Venezuela so it is within that framework, there is a commitment on how we can bring out greater unity,” Persaud noted

He said the two countries could also look at issues in which they could cooperate politically, as well as forging new ties on trade, economic and cultural relations. 

He said the reaffirmation of peaceful coexistence between the two countries sends a positive signal.

“Especially the firm commitment to good neighborliness and recognizing that we need to have peaceful coexistence, and that is lacking in some parts of the world today and the fact that we have a reaffirmation of that between our two countries, sends a good signal not only to our population of our two countries but the wider world at large,” the Foreign Secretary noted. 

With regards to the talks last week, the Foreign Secretary said the Government is not deviating whatsoever from the current process before the International Court of Justice, but its participation was to reaffirm that despite the current controversy, Guyana is still committed to peaceful coexistence. 

“Having Venezuela committing—and we have always committed ourselves to that, so having Venezuela now committing that any controversy between the two will be dealt with within the framework of international law,” Mr Persaud said. 

Mr. Persaud said the clauses contained in the joint declaration issued after the meeting proved why it was important to have the talks.

Following the discussions between the two Presidents, a Declaration was issued stating that that they will not threaten or use force against one another in any circumstances, including those that are consequential to any existing controversy between the two.

The two sides also agreed to establish a Joint Commission of Foreign Ministers and technical persons from the two countries to address matters as mutually agreed.

In their Joint Declaration, Guyana and Venezuela also agreed to continue dialogue on other pending matters. They have also agreed to refrain from escalating any conflict or disagreement. Guyana and Venezuela have also declared that they will meet again in Brazil within the next three months or at a time agreed to by them.

The Declaration also noted Guyana’s position that the border case is properly before the International Court of Justice and that is where it will remain for a final settlement, while the Declaration also noted Venezuela’s rejection of the Court to adjudicate the matter.

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