Joint Statement by Suriname and Guyana following strategic dialogue between presidents

Head of State of the Republic of Suriname, H.E. Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Head of State of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, met on Saturday 23 March 2024 at Soesdyke, Guyana for follow up discussions regarding the building of a bridge over the Corantijn/Corentyne River.
Both Presidents were accompanied by their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Finance and of Public Works, who over the past months have engaged in intensive consultations regarding the technical and financial aspects of this initiative.

Following this process of internal and bilateral consultations between Guyana and Suriname and the recommendations received, careful consideration was given to the proposed way forward, taking into account political, domestic and international elements as well.
Both Presidents reaffirmed the importance of this fixed connection between their two neighboring countries in the broader context of South American connectivity, as part of the overall objective of regional integration and trilateral cooperation between Suriname, Guyana and Brazil.
Presidents Santokhi and Ali welcomed the expressions of satisfaction of the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, during the recently held trilateral summit in Guyana with regard to the earmarked bridge over the Corantijn/Corentyne River.
From a bilateral perspective, the Presidents of Suriname and Guyana acknowledged the importance of the historical and friendly relations between the peoples and governments of both countries. It was further recognized that at the current time, both countries stand on the verge of becoming major players in terms of energy and food security in this region.
The building of the fixed connection between the two neighboring nations will undoubtedly enhance the flow of people, strengthen agricultural cooperation, facilitate trade and investment and promote tourism, thereby adding in a diversified way to the economic growth that is expected to provide sustainable prosperity to both the Surinamese and Guyanese populations.
The Presidents instructed the responsible team of Ministers to enter the next stage of this project by engaging in discussions in relation to terms of pricing, technical aspects, financing and operational modalities with the shared objective of optimizing on affordability and concessionality.
Experts of both countries will also jointly work towards a political and legal framework, start the supervisory tendering process, and drafting of the agreement regarding the ultimate board that will jointly manage the bridge.
Clear timelines for finalization of these activities have been set. The mentioned team of three ministers on each side will continue their work to lead these negotiations and data gathering, as well as monitor the progress and report regularly to the Heads of State of both Governments.
President Santokhi and President Ali agreed to convene the Strategic Dialogue and Cooperation Platform (SDCP) in early May 2024 to broaden the consultations to include other pending relevant areas of strategic importance on the agenda between the two countries.

Soesdyke, 24 March 2024

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