President Ali pledges cooperation on “critical strategic interests” with Joe Biden

Last Updated on Sunday, 8 November 2020, 13:17 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali delivering an address to the nation about measures being taken to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Irfaan Ali says he wants to work together with the administration of United States (US) President Joe Biden to help fight the potentially deadly coronavirus, COVID-19.

In a congratulatory letter dated 7th November, 2020, when Mr. Biden was declared the winner, Dr. Ali also indicated that there are other matters that he hoped the two countries could work closely on. “I look forward to working closely with you to confront critical strategic matters of interest to the international community including the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Ali told Mr. Biden who is preparing to take over the administration next year January.

While President Ali did not identify any of those “critical strategic matters”, the US has been pushing for democracy in Venezuela and Guyana is set to become an energy giant in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Several American companies have already invested heavily in Guyana or in joint ventures with Guyanese and Caribbean countries, since it became clear that this South American nation would become a major oil producer.

Outgoing President, Donald Trump earlier this year pulled out the US from the World Health Organisation (WHO) over claims that that organisation had mishandled the coronavirus after it first surfaced in China’s Wuhan Province. More than 130 Guyanese have died from the virus to date.

The Office of the President released the congratulatory message on Sunday.

Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon has already dispatched a congratulatory letter to President-elect Biden, suggesting that relations between the People’s National Congress Reform-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change could improve under the Democratic party-led US government. “We commit to working with you to rebuild trust between our peoples, strengthening goodwill and re-establishing constitutional democracy and social cohesion in Guyana after a recent period of political and social turmoil and distress,” he said.

The US, Britain, Canada, European Union, France, Organisation of American States, and the Caribbean Community had all called on the APNU+AFC to concede defeat and accept a declaration based on national vote recount results of the March 2, 2020 general elections. Eventually, the Guyana Elections Commission by way of a majority decision used the recount and declared Dr. Ali’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) the winner.

The APNU+AFC has since filed two election petitions that are due to be heard later this month by Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire. The coalition claims that the elections were rigged by the PPP based on impersonation of dead people and migrants as well as unverified ballots in more than 40 ballots in its strongholds on the East Coast Demerara.