President Ali meets with UK minister on Guyana-Venezuela border dispute
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – The United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) David Rutley on Monday held talks with President Dr Irfaan Ali.
His visit comes a few days after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Rutley would be visiting Guyana as part of the efforts by London to ensure that Guyana maintains its sovereignty over the disputed, mineral-rich Essequibo region that is also being claimed by Venezuela.
The Essequibo region makes up about two-thirds of Guyana and is home to 125,000 of the country’s 800,000 citizens.
A Government statement issued following the talks said that the “discussions focused on the continuation and expansion of the relationship between the UK and Guyana, especially in areas of sustainable and economic development and security”.
It did not elaborate, stating also that the meeting was attended by the FCDO’s Americas Director Robert Tinline, the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Guyana Jane Miller, Prime Minister Mark Phillips, Senior Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd.
Last week Cameron, in a message posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), welcomed the statement by Venezuela in St Vincent, following the border talks between Caracas and Georgetown, that “it will refrain from the use of force and any further escalation”.
Cameron, a former British prime minister, said that “it must be followed by concrete actions” and that London “supports efforts by the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves to promote peace in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Sovereign borders must be respected,” he said.
The Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela, issued following talks in Kingstown between President Dr Ali and President Nicolas Maduro, also indicated that the two countries agreed that “any controversies” between them will be resolved in accordance with international law, including the Geneva Agreement dated February 17, 1966″.