Guyana will call on allies if there is any breach of territorial space -Pres. Ali tells BBC

Guyana will call on allies if there is any breach of territorial space -Pres. Ali tells BBC

President Irfaan Ali has indicated that Guyana will call on its allies for military support should Venezuela overstep its boundary, and invade Guyana’s rich Essequibo Region.  

Appearing on BBC’s HardTalk programme, President Ali said while Guyana’s first line of defence is diplomacy, the country will call on its allies should there be any attempt by Venezuela to invade its borders.  

“We have made it very clear that if there is any breach in our territorial space, if there is any action by anyone to destabilize our country, and to invade in any way shape or form, that we will call upon every force and every friend to help us, and to work with us to protect our territorial integrity,” President Ali said.

Just recently, the Venezuelan National Assembly, in keeping with the outcome of a December Referendum, adopted a legislation declaring Guyana’s Essequibo Region to be a new Venezuelan state.

Guyana has said the move represents a breach of the provisional measures handed down by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which restrains Venezuela from taking any action to alter the current status quo. 

The Essequibo Region makes up more than two-thirds of Guyana’s territory. 

Satellite images captured back in January revealed that there was a continued build-up of military assets by Venezuela close to the border with Guyana.

President Ali said he is cognizant of the reality on the ground, and is taking appropriate action. 

“We recognize that we are dealing with a neighbour that is aggressive, that has made certain threats, and we are investing in our military, we are investigating in the technology of our military, we are investing in infrastructure, but more than that, we have aligned ourselves with countries and a region that is on the side of Guyana,” the Guyanese Head of State said. 

President Ali reminded the BBC that the border controversy is currently before the International Court of Justice.  

“We are before the ICJ because we believe in the International Rule of Law, we are a peaceful country, we are a democratic country, we believe in regional stability, and we are before the ICJ,” President Ali said. 

Venezuela, though being a signatory to the 1966 Geneva Agreement, has refused to acknowledge the ICJ’s jurisdiction to adjudicate over the matter, although the ICJ has ruled that it has that jurisdiction.

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