As Guyana seeks to further strengthen its relations with the United States, President Irfaan Ali and a senior Government team on Friday held discussions with the Chairman of the US House Foreign Relations Committee, Representative Gregory Meeks.
In a tweet, the US Representative said the meeting underscored the importance of issues such as climate change, COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and economic growth and energy initiatives that will benefit the people of Guyana.
President Irfaan Ali described the meeting as an important one, while noting the importance of Guyana/US relations.
In an interview with News Source this afternoon, the President said several issues of mutual interest to Guyana and the United States were discussed during the meeting.
The President said “I took the opportunity to update him on Guyana’s development and the flooding situation. One of the important topics we discussed was climate change and Guyana’s development trajectory and the diversification of our economy, ensuring that the traditional sectors are strengthened and investments in new sectors to create new opportunities”.
President Ali said the meeting also examined cooperation in areas of security between Guyana and the United States especially in the area of drug trafficking. The meeting, he said, also examined the sharing of information and collaboration on security matters. Guyana’s case against Venezuela at the World Court was also discussed during the meeting.
In wake of the US President’s recent announcement of a decision to purchase 500 million COVID-19 vaccines to share with countries across the world, President Ali said the Chairman of the US House Foreign Relations Committee was updated on the situation in Guyana.
“We updated him on where we are with the vaccines here and of course the US has already made a commitment and he promised to ensure that he does all that he can to push the agenda so that the vaccines are made available very soon”, the President told News Source.
President Ali described the meeting as a productive one that aided in the building of ties between the two countries that have shared diplomatic relations for over 50 years.
“We have a strong relationship with the United States for us to be working at all levels. Chairman Meeks is not only influencial but he is also the Chair of a very powerful Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee and he is fully aware of our development trajectory and he is fully aware of the prospects for oil and gas and of course we both shared our concerns and reiterated our support for democracy and ensuring our country remains democratic”, Ali said.
The meeting also examined security challenges in the Caribbean region and the role the US could play in further developing the region’s ability to make itself more secured.
Representative Gregory Meeks was part of a US Congressional team that visited Guyana in January 2020, two months before the country headed into elections.
During the elections, he was part of a non-partisan joint Congressional team that pressed the then APNU+AFC government to accept the results of the elections.