Nov 23, 2017 News
Officials from Venezuela and Guyana met recently at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss the territorial controversy over the Essequibo Region.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and his Guyanese counterpart, Carl Greenidge held meetings where they expressed their views on issues of mutual interest and explored possible options for an agreement, said the Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs, according to a Telesur report from Venezuela yesterday.
Dag Nylander, representative of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, facilitated the talks in accordance with the 1966 Geneva Agreement.
“The foreign ministers expressed their commitment to the process and reiterated that their governments will continue to actively participate with the United Nations to find a solution to the dispute.”
Both parties agreed to meet again to continue talking under this framework and continue to explore options. The meetings were similar to those that took place in October.
Nylander was appointed last February by Guterres to try to solve the litigation over the Essequibo Region.
Venezuela has claimed the region since 1821, the year it won independence from Spain. The country has always regarded the entire area west of the Essequibo River, which forms Essequibo’s eastern border, as its land.
The territorial dispute intensified in 2015 after the U.S. Company ExxonMobil discovered oil deposits in the waters of the contentious area.
Guyana is insisting that the matter was settled a century ago.
President David Granger and the administration had signalled their intentions to pull out the stops to settle the matter once and for all.
The two countries had agreed to one last attempt to use the UN-appointed mediator until year-end. Failure to agree would see the matter heading for international court. However, Guyana has been recently suggesting that the talks could go beyond December.
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