Guyana’s South American neighbour to the east and CARICOM sister state Suriname, is supportive of the push for a Juridical Settlement to the Border Controversy Guyana shares with Venezuela.
Surinamese President Desi Bouterse met with President David Granger last week, where the two leaders discussed a range of issues including Venezuela’s claims to Guyana’s Essequibo region and its maritime space.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 37th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Georgetown on Monday, President Bouterse said it was important that Guyana and Venezuela remain in dialogue.
Guyana has indicated to the the United Nations that it is interested in a final juridical settlement to the decades old border row. The Surinamese Head of State said he supports Guyana’s move to seek a juridical settlement. “We think that is correct,” Mr. Bouterse added, while also noting his support for a review all all sea and land demarcation.
He said it is important that this part of the world remains a zone of peace and stability and called on all states to respect the territories of their neighbors while pledging Suriname’s commitment to do the same.
The zone being claimed by Venezuela also includes a significant portion of the Stabroek Block where Exxon Mobil announced last year that it had made a significant oil discovery.
“Its very complicated… Suriname is also in a squeeze with our friends from Venezuela,” he added.
Suriname itself had also laid claims to part of Guyana’s sea space. Mr. Bouterse said that issue had also been discussed but he would not offer details. “Guyana and Suriname had good relations in the past and because we didn’t meet for long time the two countries had drifted away,” he said.
The President said he was honored to meet with his Guyanese counterpart where they both pushed for a deepening of relations and exploring new possibilities for cooperation. “It was a very welcomed meeting and everybody was happy that the two Presidents were meeting.”