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UN Secretary General intervenes in Guyana-Venezuela border controversy

President David Granger and delegation in meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and team (GINA photo)

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Friday announced that he was prepared to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Guyana and Venezuela, in the wake of that Spanish-speaking neighbour’s recent unilateral extension of its maritime border to take in the coastal waters off Essequibo.

Ban says his chief of staff will meet with Venezuela’s foreign minister and might dispatch a mission to both countries.

No date has been fixed for such a visit.

Guyana’s Government Information Agency (GINA) reported that President David Granger, who  was able to put forward Guyana’s position on the territorial dispute with Venezuela to the UN Secretary General, on Friday said his administration will stand ready to receive the UN mission when the time arises to deal with the issue.

“We expect the UN Secretary General to play an important role in reducing the level of tension and to support Guyana in having the decree withdrawn.”

The two met for a brief engagement at the Hilton Hotel in Barbados where the 36th Regular meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community is being held.

President Granger led the local delegation which included, Foreign Affairs Minster, Carl Greenidge and Director General, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ms. Audrey Waddell.

President Granger informed the Secretary General of Venezuela’s latest aggression towards Guyana which has now gone beyond Guyana and Venezuela as it has contaminated relations with the entire Eastern Caribbean.

While acknowledging that the Good Officer Process and the Geneva Convention still stand, the President said he humbly informed the UN Official that those have been exhausted.

Meanwhile President Nicholas Maduro who was expected in Barbados today, has decided against his visit, but instead has sent his Vice President Jorge Arreza.

President Granger in an invited comment said he was still willing to meet with the Vice President as he maintained his position that his ultimate goal out of that meeting would be to have the decree withdrawn.

“My concern is the withdrawal of the decree, we feel that this is damaging to regional security. Yes, I’m prepared to meet if this can contribute to resolving the present stage of the conflict,” the Guyanese Leader said.