Guyana’s sovereignty not negotiable, open to talks with Venezuela – President tells Bloomberg News

Guyana’s sovereignty non-negotiable, open to talks with Venezuela – President Ali tells Bloomberg NewsDecember 12, 2023

In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali stressed that while Guyana prioritises peaceful coexistence and regional stability, the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remain non-negotiable. He emphasised this firm stance in the context of the ongoing border controversy with Venezuela.

President Ali conveyed Guyana’s willingness to engage in constructive dialogue that respects international law and the ongoing ICJ proceedings.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

“We have a responsibility to ensure, that while we establish our fundamental position, we explore every avenue to have Venezuela de-escalate this level of aggression and threat,” he affirmed.

President Ali’s statement comes ahead of scheduled talks with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, set to take place on December 12, 2023, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The meeting will be hosted by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and representatives from CARICOM, the United Nations, and CELAC.

The Guyanese head of state, however, expressed his willingness to explore potential areas of collaboration that will bring development and prosperity to both nations. Nevertheless, the issues surrounding the border controversy remain non-negotiable.

“If we are serious about the development of our people and ensuring that this region remains a zone of peace, there are many issues consequential to the controversy that have to be discussed.

“I think that we can discuss on modalities on future interactions and establishment of technical groups and working groups to look at the development path,” the president asserted.

President Ali reiterate that Guyana is committed to preserving the peace and stability of the region, but at the same time, will remain vigilant, closely monitoring the situation, and sustaining its collaborative efforts with international partners.

Guyana has consistently maintained that the border controversy was settled by the 1899 Arbitral Award and is therefore not subject to negotiation. The matter is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).  President Ali underscored Guyana’s commitment to the ICJ process and its outcome.