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Regional News

May 04, 2007
Guyana to continue multilateral approach on Venezuela controversy - Insanally
Stabroek News

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - Guyana is continuing to deal with the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy multilaterally under the Good Officer Process of the United Nations through the Geneva Agreement even though Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro recently suggested bilateral discussions.

Asked about Guyana's position on the issue in the wake of Maduro's suggestion which he disclosed to the media at the close of the Rio Group Summit in Georgetown in March, Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that he had read of the suggestion in the media but the proposal had not been put to Guyana.

He said that Guyana was willing to listen to other suggestions but the government has to decide on what was best for the country. He said the border problems was not only limited to Venezuela but to Suriname as well for which a decision is to be made in relation to the Guyana and Suriname maritime boundary.

Venezuela is laying claim to the Essequibo region.

Insanally said that at present the Guyana-Venezuela issue was engaging the attention of the government, even as it relates to the identification of a person to be appointed as Good Officer to replace the late Oliver Jackman, who had been the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative on the controversy. Jackman died recently.

At the close of the Rio Group Summit Maduro had said that the controversy was a "delicate matter to be treated within the framework of the summit like this, which calls for the discussions on the issues for which the summit has been devoted to."

Suggesting a bilateral summit to deal with the issue, he had said Guyanese could count on the "most absolute solidarity from the Venezuelan people since both nations were formerly colonies. Not referring to any specific country, he had said that, "Now that we are free republics we cannot let them divide us."

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