President Ali calls out Venezuela for refusal to respect international law

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has emphasised the need for adherence to international law, and the importance of utilising a diplomatic approach to resolve disputes.

Speaking at the 6th plenary meeting for the General Debate of the 78th Session at the United Nations, New York, USA, the head of state highlighted that Venezuela continues to issue threats against Guyana’s sovereignty.

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali during his address at the to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly

He said the most recent bout of this was reflected in a communique rejecting Guyana’s auctioning of oil blocks.

President Ali issued a strong warning, condemning these brazen attempts to undermine Guyana’s territorial integrity.

“Guyana considers this a threat to regional and international peace and security, as well as to Guyana’s investment partners. We demand that Venezuela honours its obligation under the charter to pursue only peaceful means to settle any disputes it may have with Guyana, including adjudication before the International Court of Justice,” the head of state underscored.

He made it clear that in auctioning these blocks, the country is exercising its right to pursue development in any of its territories.

He said the government is confident the court’s final decision will see the controversy settled by the Arbitral Award, confirming that the disputed boundary belongs to Guyana.

“Allowing the court to decide would ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable, and in accordance with international law.  Guyana will spare no effort in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” President Ali said.  

Meanwhile, lending his voice in condemnation of Venezuela’s actions was Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro, who called on Venezuela to respect international law, and to cease intimidatory tactics against Guyana.

“We vehemently decry intimidatory tactics that seek to undermine the principle of ‘good neighbourliness.’ We recognise the right of Guyana to welcome investors,” the secretary general said in a recent Twitter post.

United States of America Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols also expressed similar sentiments.

In a recent tweet, Ambassador Nichols stated, “The US supports Guyana’s sovereign right to develop its natural resources. Efforts to infringe upon Guyana’s sovereignty are unacceptable. We call on Venezuela to respect international law, including the 1899 Arbitral Award and the ongoing ICJ process between Guyana and Venezuela.”

Recently, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Venezuela’s preliminary objection to Guyana’s case on the longstanding border controversy.

The ruling means that the court will proceed to decide the controversy between the two states on the merits, and ultimately issue a final and binding determination on the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award that fixed the land boundary between Venezuela and then-British Guiana.

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