Government doing all in its power to protect country’s territorial integrity

-President Ali confident that Guyana has full support of international community

His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali today announced that his Government is doing all in its power to vigorously protect Guyana’s territorial integrity and is fully committed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) process.

The President was joined by Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, Ministers of Government and Members of the Armed Forces, among other officials, during his Presidential Address on Venezuela’s aggression and on the position of his Government.

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

The Head of State was adamant that Guyana would not bend to threats to the country’s national security.

“We may be a small country, but we are a proud people. We have no military might, but we have moral and legal right. We pick fights with no one, but we will resist threats from anyone.”

The President said that the country has the support of the international community and will continue to look for a peaceful solution to Venezuela’s aggression.

He added that his Government will follow the legal process in addressing the border issue, which will be dealt with by the ICJ.

He said that last night, he received a letter from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres, in which he (Mr Guterres) reaffirmed that on January 30th, 2018 he chose the ICJ as the means “to be used for the solution of the controversy” as he was empowered to do under an agreement signed in Geneva by all parties in 1966.

President Ali added that the Secretary-General acknowledged that the Court is proceeding to adjudicate the merits of the case.

The President said that he believes that international law and independent international jurists of the highest calibre offer the most credible and definitive way in which to put an end to the Venezuelan contention.

Mr Guterres told the President that he would make his office available if Guyana and Venezuela wish to address other important issues.

The President stated that outside of the border, there were several issues to discuss, including the increasing number of Venezuelans now seeking refuge in Guyana, as well as how the two neighbouring states can deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. These issues, according to the President, can only be discussed if Venezuela can desist from any further acts of aggression against Guyana, starting with the release of the Guyanese fishermen and their vessels, which were seized in Guyana’s waters last week.

“We are a peaceful nation. We always choose the path of peace and the rule of international law to resolve our issues. We will remain firmly on that path, while we pursue justice for our country.”