No retreating on Guyana’s position that all of Essequibo belongs to Guyana – President Ali at meeting with Maduro

No retreating on Guyana’s position that all of Essequibo belongs to Guyana – President Ali at meeting with Maduro

By Gordon Moseley in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

President Irfaan Ali said he has made it clear to the Venezuelan President during their meeting in St. Vincent that there is no retreating on Guyana’s clear position that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and Guyana will not be budging from its case before the International Court of Justice.

“I made it clear that the controversy must be resolved at the ICJ and we are unwavering and resolute in ensuring that Guyana’s case is presented, defended and the ICJ will issue its position on the merits of the case. I made it clear that the process leading to the ICJ is part of the Geneva agreement and that the Geneva agreement provides for the UN Secretary General to determine where the controversy must be finally determined and it is the UN SG acting within the confines of the Geneva Agreement, that that place is the ICJ”

At a press conference at the Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent, the President said “we are a peace abiding country and people and we have no other ambition than to pursue the peaceful co-existence with Venezuela and every other country in this region”.

According to President Ali, during the meeting, he also made it clear that Guyana will continue to exploit the resources within its territorial space.

He said “I made it very clear that within the sovereign space of Guyana, we will continue to do everything that promotes the development, the advancement of our people and all the partnerships necessary to ensure the defence of our borders in accordance with international law.”

The President noted that CARICOM has remained firm in its position that it is supportive of Guyana and the case before the International Court of Justice.

The President also noted that the two sides have agreed to remain committed to ensuring that the region remains a region of peace.

“As we move forward, in the next phase of the meeting, and in keeping with the invitation, which sought to ensure dialogue on consequential and not the issue before the ICJ, that that dialogue is an understanding of how we move forward, and that is the next phase of these meetings. Both parties committed to ensuring the region remains a zone of peace”.

Guyana has been canvasing support from a number of its international partners on the border controversy. The President said Guyana will lean on those partners for support in the defence of its territory.

“We agree with the regional partners that the priority is peace and every threat of force or the use of force must be denounced and every party must take responsibility. We made it very clear that Guyana is not the aggressor and Guyana is not seeking war, but Guyana reserves the right to work with all of our partners to ensure the defence of our country”, Ali said.

Holding up a leather bracelet with the map of Guyana engraved on it, the President of Guyana said it is very clear what Guyana looks like, what the map looks like and it will remain that way.

“We know what Guyana looks like, we know what the map of Guyana looks like. All of it belongs to Guyana. This is the map of Guyana, and no narrative and no propaganda or decree can change this. This is Guyana”, the President said.

President Ali is expected to head back to Guyana tonight.

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