March 4, 2024

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Venezuela and Guyana meet on December 14 amid a territorial dispute

Venezuela and Guyana meet on December 14 amid a territorial dispute

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will meet with Guyanese President Muhammad Irfaan Ali on Thursday amid a territorial dispute between the two countries, according to a letter from the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The announcement of the bilateral meeting came after Maduro spoke with Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who also serves as interim President of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and UN Secretary-General Antonio. Guterres on Saturday.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks between Venezuela and Guyana over a long-standing border dispute over Essequibo, an area of ​​Guyana where huge offshore oil and gas discoveries have been made.

The Venezuelan government said the meeting “aims to preserve our ambition to maintain Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace.”

The Office of the President of Guyana confirmed that Ali had agreed to the meeting, but added that “Guyana’s land borders are not up for discussion.”

Last weekend, voters in Venezuela rejected the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over the region and supported the creation of a new state.

Earlier on Saturday, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spoke with Maduro and called for dialogue, saying it was important to avoid unilateral actions that could escalate the situation.

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Lula, who was invited to attend Thursday’s meeting as an observer, reiterated that Brazil is ready to support and pursue dialogue initiatives, which reinforces the joint declaration of South American countries issued earlier this week.

The US Embassy in Brasilia said the United States and Brazil are consulting on the border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana.

She said in a statement that the two governments want a peaceful solution to the conflict. “We reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Guyana’s sovereignty.”

(Reporting by Vivian Sequeira, Peter Sequeira and Luana Maria Benedetto – Prepared by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Writing by Peter Frontini and Laura Gottesdiener. Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Jonathan Oatis

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