US, Guyana security cooperation reaping rewards

Last Updated on Friday, 19 May 2023, 23:14 by Denis Chabrol

US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch.

The United States and Guyana on Friday night said their security cooperation was on a firm footing in going after fugitives from justice in each other’s jurisdiction and fighting narco-trafficking.

Outgoing American Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch remarked that security was a constant effort that has led to a number of people being  sent back to face the justice system. “Our security partnership sends a strong signal that we are partners and we care about Guyana, Thanks to the excellent partnership with law enforcement, we have both had successful extraditions of criminals that have no place in our nations or our neighbourhood,” she said at a farewell party held at her residence.  She named the police force, defence force, Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit and the office of the National Security Advisor for “a strong partnership to enhance the security of our neighbourhood.”

On the defence side, Ms Lynch said the US has provided millions of dollars in military training, undertook two major military exercises, Operation Tradewinds, in three years and provided critical care to hundreds of Guyanese through medical visits by the US military.

President Irfaan Ali said the unprecedented coordination and collaboration on the security front has seen the two countries tackling drug trafficking.  He said Guyana and the US shared values and common interest have seen greater integration by their security sector. “There is greater synergy in the entire security architecture that both of us are serious about to the extent that I think we can all celebrate the tremendous accomplishment we have made in ensuring that we create a great push-back on the drug trade,” he said.

Security cooperation, he said, has seen increasing exchange visits and training programmes for police and soldiers. Dr Ali said very soon thee would be a high-level visit “to further strengthen our ambitions on the security front.”

Meanwhile, in the area of business, the American Ambassador highlighted that when she came to Guyana four years ago, there was only a handful of American companies but today there are almost 100 large, small and medium-sized companies and family-owned companies that are investing in Guyana for the very first time.  She said bilateral trade has been tripled to more than US$3 billion, “by far the largest trading partner for Guyana. ”

Ambassador Lynch announced that when she leaves her diplomatic post in Guyana, she would be taking up an assignment at the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

She would be succeeded by Nicole D. Theriot.