Guyana has strongly rejected false allegations made by Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yvan Gil Pinto that its territory is being used for military aggression against the neighbouring country.
Guyana’s position was made clear byits Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett on Monday in response to the Venezuelan minister’s remarks at the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly, in New York, USA, Friday last.
Rodrigues-Birkett said these allegations derive from Venezuela’s grotesque claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, particularly the Essequibo region.
“The intelligence of the national community should not be insulted by Venezuela’s allegations that Guyana is allowing its territory to be used as a platform for military aggression against any state including the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Rodrigues-Birkett emphasised.
She made it clear that the government has acted and continues to act in full accordance with the 1966 Geneva Agreement and has consistently invited the Venezuelan Government to do the same.
The 1966 Geneva Agreement is the legally binding instrument that provides for a means of settlement of the controversy over the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award and the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela.
“The secretary-general chose in the first instance the use of his good office to bring about a settlement satisfactory to both parties. The good office process took place with the participation of Guyana and Venezuela over a period of more than 20 years without success or any progress towards success,” she reminded the Venezuelan government. As a result, in January 2018 the secretary general, in accordance with the 1966 Geneva Agreement, determined that this means of settlement was a failure and chose the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a final and binding resolution to the border controversy.
In 2018, Guyana filed an application at the ICJ seeking its final judgement on the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award and is awaiting the final decision from the international court.
“If Venezuela truly believes that the best or the only way to resolve the controversy is by adherence to the 1966 Geneva Agreement, then it should adhere to the agreement and plead its case to the ICJ and accept the decision of the court when it is issued as a final and binding settlement of the controversy,”Rodrigues-Birkett expressed.She made it clear that Guyana is not in agreement with any procedure to bypass the border case currently before the ICJ.