Following an unannounced one-day visit to Venezuela, Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro have agreed to work on a programme of several areas of interest including the resumption of the Good Offices Process.
The Good Offices Process of the United Nations Secretary General which is aimed at assisting the two countries in developing a peaceful resolution to the controversy relating to the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 has been in abeyance for several years following the death of Good Officer Oliver Jackman.
According to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other areas of interest which were discussed by the two foreign ministers when they met at the National Pantheon of Venezuela on Saturday, included the advancement of construction of a shelter for the homeless here, assistance in the area of non-traditional agriculture and dairy sectors, the dredging of the Mahaica, Mahai-cony and Abary (MMA) river mouths, and the proposed construction of a road link as well as Venezuela's proposal for a gas pipeline connecting the two countries with Suriname. The dredging of the MMA rivers has been on the agenda for sometime now.
Rodrigues and Maduro also discussed the proposed establishment of cooperative programmes under the Guyana/Venezuela High Level Bilateral Commission (HLBC) which is expected to meet in Venezuela in November this year. GINA stated that the Guyana/ Venezuela Mixed Commis-sion, which oversees cooperation aimed at combating the illicit drug trade, will also be meeting soon. The two foreign ministers also reiterated their hope for the return to office of the constitutional government in the Central American country of Honduras.
Rodrigues-Birkett also laid a wreath at the National Pantheon of Venezuela in honour of that country’s national heroes including the Liberator Simon Bolivar.
A team of officials which accompanied Rodrigues on the trip included Ambassador and Director General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Elisabeth Harper, Director of the Frontiers Department Keith George and Charge d'Affaires (ad interim) of the Guyana Embassy in Caracas, Heather Seelochan, while that country's ambassador to Guyana, Dario Morandy was also in attendance.