The foreign Ministers of Guyana and Venezuela are to meet next week in an effiort to resolve their latest territorial spat following the arrest of a seismic research vessel.
“The Ministers agreed that dialogue was essential in an effort to find a peaceful solution to this matter as well as in preserving the relations which had developed between the two countries in recent years. In this regard, they agreed to meet in the coming week,” the Foreign Ministry here said in a brief statement.
The date and venue of the meeting have not been announced, but Demerara Waves Online News was reliably informed that the two sides would be searching for a “neutral ground” which essentially means a third country.
The vessel – Teknik Perdana – was at the time conducting seafloor surveys in search of hydrocarbons in an offshore concession granted by Guyana to the United States-based company Anandarko when the Venezuelan Navy intercepted it Thursday afternoon.
The vessel, which was ordered to shut down its engines and its equipment, was being escorted to Margarita Island.
The Foreign Ministry here said, under the directive of President Donald Ramotar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett made contact on October 11 with the Minister of External Relations of Venezuela Elías Jaua to discuss the matter of the arrest of the RV Teknik Perdana by a Venezuelan naval vessel on October 10, 2013.
Both Guyana and Venezuela have condemned each other’s actions and have requested explanations for their actions in the waters off Essequibo which Venezuela claims as hers.