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HomeNewsCaribbean NewsPresident Ali asserts Guyana’s sovereignty amidst Venezuela’s baseless claims

President Ali asserts Guyana’s sovereignty amidst Venezuela’s baseless claims

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Guyana’s president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has explicitly asserted the sovereignty of the nation, emphasising its independence in both its domestic and foreign policies.

During a broadcast live on Monday evening, president Ali dismissed Venezuela’s baseless allegations concerning oil exploration concessions held by oil giant ExxonMobil and other international investors.

“The government of Guyana under my leadership will continue to govern and monitor license holders in a transparent manner,” Guyana’s president firmly expressed. “Further, as a sovereign nation, we are beholden to no state or private entity in how we conduct our domestic or foreign policy including our relations with other states.”

President Ali’s assertion came as he welcomed Venezuela’s submission of its counter-memorial to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the Arbitral Award of 1899 court case. Guyana in 2018, initiated the court case before the ICJ to determine the legality and validity of the land boundary that was settled between the two nations hundred years ago.

It was early on Monday that the minister for people’s power for foreign affairs of Venezuela, Yvan Gil, on X (formerly Twitter), announced that the Spanish-speaking country has made its submissions to the World Court.

President Ali underscored the significance of this development, noting that it enables the court to examine both submissions and deliver a judgment that ensures a peaceful and equitable resolution that is in accordance with international law.

Therefore, he reiterated Guyana’s steadfast commitment to abide by the Court’s decision in the matter.

“This is what Guyana has been calling for and I hope that Venezuela continue to engage fully in the process before the International Court of Justice, which has determined it has jurisdiction in the case brought before it to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award which Venezuela questions,” the president expressed.

As Venezuela once again advances threats to Guyana’s territorial integrity, president Ali reminded both parties of the obligation to comply with the court’s order on provisional measures of December 1, 2023, which prohibits Venezuela from any action that would see it undermining Guyana’s control of the Essequibo, including annexation, consequent to the results of their referendum.

The provisional measures are binding and impose a legal obligation for the court’s decision to be respected.

“I therefore once again reiterate Guyana’s position that we support and we will work towards a stable and peaceful regional environment, one in which the people of both Venezuela and Guyana can live and enjoy peace, stability and the friendship of each other,” president Ali underlined.

On Wednesday, April 3, 2023, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro presided over a signing ceremony, formalising the results of the December 3 Referendum, in which Venezuela lays claim to two-thirds of Guyanese territory.

This action drew strong condemnation from both The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Guyana’s border with Venezuela was legally and internationally decided over 100 years ago by a tribunal of arbitration in 1899 in what was determined then to be a “full, perfect, and final settlement”.

After 67 years, of Guyana’s independence, Venezuela challenged the 1899 Arbitral Award, leading to the signing of the Geneva Agreement in 1966.  Efforts over more than half a century, including a four-year Mixed Commission (1966-1970), a 12-year moratorium (1970-1982), a seven-year process of consultations on a means of settlement (1983-1990), and a twenty-seven-year Good Offices Process under the UN Secretary-General’s authority (1990-2017), failed to settle border controversy.

The move to the ICJ was advanced after there was no success with a further attempt, using the United Nations Good Offices process, to resolve the matter of Venezuela’s renewed claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.

Related: OAS General Secretariat on the so-called ‘Law for the defense of Essequibo’ approved by the Venezuelan regime

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