In wake of recent statements by Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse, the President of Guyana, David Granger has stated that when it comes to the New River area and Suriname’s claim, there is no doubt about the soundness of the bases on which Guyana exercises sovereignty of its territory.
Addressing the Parliament on Thursday, President Granger said the Government of Guyana has no fear in having Suriname’s claim to its territory resolved by an adjudicatory process.
“The discourse will be helped by ready access to the archival documents which are pertinent to the issues to be resolved. These must be open to both sides for scrutiny in order to determine that there has been full adherence to the principles of international law as they relate to sovereignty over territory”, Mr. Granger told the House.
He added that Guyana has already made a large portion of its documents available to Suriname for its scrutiny. and that it is hoped that the Suriname Government will do likewise by requesting the Netherlands Government to open the relevant Dutch Archives to facilitate research by both sides. He said the British Archives are open to all. “Guyana has nothing to hide.”
The President said if Suriname is convinced that its claim can withstand legal scrutiny, then it should agree to take the matter before an internationally recognized adjudicatory body.
He said Guyana is of the view that, if an agreement cannot be reached at the bilateral level within a given time-frame, the matter should be taken to adjudication so that this controversy can be concluded.
“The governments of Guyana and Suriname can find a way of resolving its differences without acrimony or the use of force and in a spirit of cordiality. We must bring finality to our difference in a permanent and internationally recognized legal manner.”
Mr. Granger said Guyana is prepared to continue discussions on the unresolved issues within the mechanism of the National Border Commissions which have been meeting over the past two years, adding that “we believe that we should seek to build our relations on those issues which can bring our two countries and peoples closer together and not divide us. We are committed to collaborating on reaching a peaceful solution to the territorial controversies.”
Guyana and Suriname share very close ties and have been looking to strengthen those ties. The two countries share strong relations on the bilateral front.