UK minister visits Guyana’s president over border issues with Venezuela

2023 12 14T223155Z 1 LYNXMPEJBD0WG RTROPTP 4 VENEZUELA GUYANA scaled
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and Guyanese President Irfaan Ali shake hands as they meet amid tensions over a border dispute, in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines December 14, 2023. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

A junior British foreign minister on Monday said Guyana‘s territorial integrity should be respected as he visited the Commonwealth country after neighbouring Venezuela renewed its claim to the oil-rich Essequibo region.

Guyana and Venezuela on Thursday agreed to avoid any use of force and to not escalate tensions in their long-running dispute over the 160,000-square-km (62,000-square-mile) region.

“I am in Guyana… to offer the UK‘s unequivocal backing to our Guyanese friends,” Britain’s minister for the Americas and Caribbean, David Rutley said in a statement, ahead of a meeting with Guyanese President Irfaan Ali for talks.

“The border issue has been settled for more than 120 years… We welcome the recent agreement by Venezuela… to refrain from the use of force and any further escalation.”

Essequibo is generally recognised as part of Guyana, but in recent years Venezuela has revived its claim to the territory and to offshore areas following major oil and gas discoveries.

Tensions rose sharply this month after voters in a Venezuelan referendum backed a move to make the Esequibo area a new Venezuelan state and rejected the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is hearing the case on the border dispute.

Rutley will also hold talks with ambassadors from the United States, France, Canada and the European Union over international support for the former British colony in the dispute.

More from Qonversations

News

antusias penonton fiba world cup di indonesia arena gbk 3 169

GBK declared first sport venue to use 100% renewable energy

News

AFP 20240218 34JM2XT v1 HighRes GermanyDiplomacyPoliticsSecurityMsc

Why Palestinian Authority’s prime minister and government have resigned

News

2024 02 23T100701Z 1 LYNXNPEK1M0A2 RTROPTP 4 GERMANY CANNABIS

Germany legalizes cannabis

News

feb1ad24 1558 444d 8e7d f6aa6ad72ce7

4-month-old Indian baby stuns world with special talent

Front of mind
Screenshot 2024 02 09 at 10.47.42

How to win elections in Africa – Chike Ukaegbu

Ismail Akwei

Presidential elections in Africa have gone through many cycles since the 1950s when Ghana became the first country […]

Read more
Screenshot 2024 01 21 at 07.33.15 scaled

How China can help revive agribusiness in the Caribbean

Eleanor Sa-Carneiro

Against the backdrop of the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago’s Fine Cocoa Company is setting sail into the waters […]

Read more