The Governments of Guyana and the United States have inked a “Bilateral Shiprider Agreement” which will see joint patrols of Guyana’s air and maritime space in increased efforts to fight the narcotics trade.
The agreement goes into force from Monday. It formed part of the discussions with President Irfaan Ali and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Under the agreement, the US Government will have to seek Guyana’s permission for the patrols on sea and in the air. Patrols will not be conducted in Guyana’s waters and airspace without that approval from Guyana.
President Irfaan Ali said he is pleased with the Shiprider Agreement and believes it will do more than just enhance security for Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
“I am also pleased to announce that Guyana and the US will deepen cooperation in the area of security, with specific attention to maritime security and joint patrols, to interdict narcotics trafficking. This will also allow us to improve our technical and human capabilities in monitoring Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone. This augurs well for stronger collaboration and broader technical assistance to help combat both domestic and transnational organized criminal networks”, President Ali said.
He told the US Secretary of State that Guyana is also looking forward to continued and enhanced assistance in the fields of border control, anti-terrorism, cyber security, technology transfer and anti-corruption measures.
The US Secretary of State said the security agreement will ensure a more secured Guyana and Caribbean region.
“Our new security agreement to counter narcotics trafficking that has decimated so many nations around the world will come into force on Monday. American law enforcement can now cooperate against traffickers at sea and this will make the entire region and Guyana even safer”, Secretary Pompeo said.
The US Secretary said Guyana and the US will continue to work in various areas of interest that will benefit both nations.
The two sides also signed a framework agreement today that seeks to facilitate collaboration to identify concrete ways to further their joint interests in infrastructure growth, integration, and energy security.
Both sides believe that investors and the private sector in both Guyana and US stand to benefit from the agreement.
The visit by the US Secretary of State marked the first time that a sitting US Secretary has ever visited Guyana. Mr. Pompeo assured that it will not take another fifty years for another visit to take place.