BY NAN STAFF WRITER

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C. Thurs., Dec. 14, 2023: The U.S. today reaffirmed its “position that the land boundary between Venezuela and Guyana should be respected unless – or until – the parties reach a new agreement – or a competent legal body decides otherwise.”

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken reiterated the US’ position during a call with Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira on December 13th.  The US’ comments come as Guyana’s President Irfaan Ally and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro met at the meeting brokered by Brazil, CARICOM, the UN and CELAC, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines today.

This handout picture released by the Venezuelan Presidency shows Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro (R)shakes hand with Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali (L) during a meeting in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines on December 14, 2023. AFP PHOTO / VENEZUELAN PRESIDENCY / MARCELO GARCIA

Blinken, according to Miller, also thanked Brazil for its diplomatic leadership in seeking a peaceful resolution of the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo region.

Meanwhile, Ally, in a press briefing moments ago, insisted that both sides are committed to ensuring the region remains peaceful amid high tensions over a dispute involving the Essequibo area of Guyana.

The two leaders met at the airport in Kingstown, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, alongside representatives from CARICOM, the Caribbean political and economic union, Brazil, the United Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, (CELAC).

Wearing a band that showed a map of the entire Guyana, Ally insisted that his country is committed to promoting investments and the development of its sovereign space and insisted that the government wants the International Court of Justice to rule on the controversy once and for all. “I made it very clear that Guyana has all the right to… approve of and facilitate any development, any investment, any partnership, any trading, any collaboration, any cooperation, to issue any license and the granting of any concession within our territorial space and within our sovereign space,” Ali said.

CELAC President Pro-Tempore & PM of St Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, meanwhile, read the Argyle Declaration for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana & Venezuela. The two sides agree “to directly or indirectly, …. not threaten or use force against one another.”

“Both agree any controversies will be resolved in accordance with international law” and “will refrain from via words or deeds escalate any conflict or disagreement arising from any controversy between them.”

They will meet again in Brazil within 3 months.

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