The Guyana Government has officially raised the new territorial claim by Venezuela into its oil rich maritime area with the United States Government.
Vice President and Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge met with U.S Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Roberta Jacobson on Tuesday where he lobbied for US support against Venezuela’s aggression.
During the meeting the two officials pledged to work to promote regional peace, security and stability in wake of the new territorial claim by Venezuela following the recent discovery of oil in Guyana’s maritime area by US oil giant Exxon Mobil.
This is the first high level contact between the two countries since the change in government in Guyana last month and the Presidential Decree by Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro. The decree extends Venezuela’s boundaries and gives its Navy permission to secure the area to prevent any exploration activities by Guyana.
The meeting occurred on the sidelines of the ongoing 45th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C.
Guyana has strongly objected to the decree and has been alerting the international community about the conflict.
Greendige, during his address to the 45th OAS meeting, appealed for the organization to exercise its functions in order to ensure the preservation of regional peace, security and stability.
The Guyana Foreign Minister told the Assembly that Guyana strongly rejects all aggressive and illegal actions which affect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and more so, those measures that involve the threat or use force.
“We call attention to the principles that underlie the OAS Charter relating to the settlement of differences between States by peaceful means and urge all Member States to honour the provisions of the Charter which uphold these basic principles of International Law and which are in our collective interest,” he said.
Both Guyana and Venezuela are member states of the OAS.
Greenidge also met with Guyanese in Washington D.C where he insisted that Guyana was capable of defending its territorial sovereignty.
President David Granger while attending an event to mark the birthday of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, called on the UK to demonstrate solidarity with Guyana “and to condemn the use, or threat of the use, of force in the settlement of international disputes.”
The Guyanese Head of State said he was particularly lobbying the UK for support because it was under its regime that the territorial issue arose and was resolved peacefully by an international tribunal.
The UK and by extension the Commonwealth have always supported Guyana’s contention that the border issue with Venezuela has been settled.