Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd is expected to meet with his Surinamese counterpart Albert Ramdin within the next two weeks to follow up on recent agreements signed between the two countries and also discuss the issue of fishing license for Guyanese fisherfolk.
President Irfaan Ali told reporters on Wednesday that the matter with the delay in the issuance of fishing license to Guyanese fisherfolk by the Suriname authorities is being addressed.
“That matter is being resolved as I speak to you. We have agreed that a high level meeting with take place within the next two weeks, to not only look at the current issues, because we have full commitment that the current issue will be resolved, but look at the issue of the license itself and how we address that moving forward and in the longterm. There are some concerns from their side and we have made our case very clear”, the President said.
He added that he is pleased that the immediate issue of Guyanese fishing boats not being able to leave Suriname will be addressed and he is looking forward to the meeting between the high level officials of the two neighbouring states.
Earlier this week, the Guyana Government issued a statement condemning the continued “harassment” being meted out to Guyanese fisherfolk by the Surinamese government.
In the statement, the Government also called out of the Government of Suriname over its failure to grant licenses to Guyanese fishermen in keeping with a commitment made by Suriname almost two years ago.
The Guyana Government had requested that 150 Surinamese licences be issued to Guyanese fishermen to allow them to ply their trade in Surinamese Ocean waters.
The Government said that to date, it has not been advised on the status on the issuances of the licenses.
It noted that in the absence of the issuance of the licences, Guyanese fisherfolk continue to face harassment at the hands of the Surinamese authorities, including fishing vessels that are stranded in Suriname and cannot return to Guyana for fear of losing their licences.