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“Stop playing politics with the future of Guyana”- Ali to US Congressman Jeffries

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 July 2022, 17:49 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Sunday lashed out at United States (US) Congressman Hakeem Jeffries who apparently refused to meet with him during last week’s visit to Washington DC.

Dr Ali said he asked the Foreign Ministry and Guyana’s Ambassador to the US Samuel Hinds to write Mr Jeffries to formally invite him to a meeting. “He has not responded,” the President said. “Ask yourself ‘why’ if you have all these concerns, why you haven’t attended a meeting that you were invited to,” Dr Ali said.

Congressman Jeffries has on more than occasion urged an end to discrimination in Guyana.

“Stop playing politics with the future of a country. This President will not allow it. I will speak about it and in stronger terms I’ll speak about it,” the President said. Mr Jeffries, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, appears to have close relations with New York-based Guyanese Rickford Burke who has persistently accused the People’s Progressive Party Civic administration of racial discrimination against Afro Guyanese. The government has reputedly rubbished those claims.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by Congressmen Congressman Hank Johnson, Chairman of the Congressional sub-committee on the Western Hemisphere, Albio Sires.

President Ali said, “every single person I requested to meet, I met” but he did not say if he asked to meet the others.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris, after talks with President Ali and his delegation, have highlighted cooperation in the areas of transparency and inclusive growth.

President Ali has also cited the importance of transparency and accountability in his talks with Mr Blinken.