US wants to address security concerns with Guyana- Biden tells Ali

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 February 2021, 7:15 by Denis Chabrol

United States President Joseph Biden is keen on strengthening cooperation with Guyana in the area of security.

He made known his position in a congratulatory  note to President Irfaan Ali to mark Guyana’s 51st Republic Anniversary being observed on Tuesday.

“In the year ahead, I look forward to our teams addressing the issues and security concerns that threaten our shared interests, while building on Guyana’s economic growth and development,” he told the Guyanese leader.

The US supermajor, ExxonMobil, has discovered more than 8 billion barrels of oil offshore Guyana including the Stabroek Block that extends to offshore Guyana’s Essequibo Region which Venezuela claims as hers.  Venezuela has refused to recognise the International Court of Justice to hear Guyana’s case on the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award that settled  the land boundary between the two South American nations.

In recent months, the US has been accelerating its foreign policy agenda in Guyana. Top American officials, on visits to Guyana, have been stressing the importance of democracy and poor  quality of Chinese infrastructure.

Recently, the US and Guyana Defence Force Coast Guards conducted joint patrols in Guyanese waters to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Guyana is still regarded as a major transshipment point of South American cocaine to the US and Europe.

The US President notes that this country is a strong democracy, and he looks forward to strengthening the US-Guyana  bilateral relationship based on shared principles of good governance, prosperity, and security.