Guyana’s position on border controversy non-negotiable – PM Phillips

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips Monday said Guyana’s stance on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy is non-negotiable and unequivocal, as it’s a fundamental right that all nations must respect. 

The prime minister was at the time addressing the Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal. 

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips

PM Phillips stressed that Guyana maintains its trust in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and believes that its judgement will be aligned with international law.

“The time for negotiation is over. There will be no need for dialogue with Nicholas Maduro. There will be no meeting…between Maduro and President Dr Irfaan Ali. Essequibo is no bird island, no concessions through bilateral. No to invasion, annexation, and other acts of aggression,” the prime minister stated.

“Let the ICJ rule. Let the ICJ be the judge and deliver a final judgment on this controversy. Essequibo belongs to Guyana and Guyanese only. Together, we will secure the triumph of justice and preserve our nation’s sovereignty,” he added.

He noted that much of Venezuela’s contention arises from Guyana’s thriving oil and gas industry, following the world-class oil discoveries in the territorial waters. That claim includes waters of the Essequibo Coast where much of the oil findings exist.

Highlighting that the controversy has been long and arduous, PM Phillips condemned the continued ‘unwarranted and unjust’ claims by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to disrupt Guyana’s sovereign territory, noting that the peace and stability of the region must be addressed.

According to the prime minister, Venezuela has shown inconsistency in its commitment to adhering to the 1899 Arbitral Award. 

“We are sending a message of unity in the face of a clear and present danger from Nicolas Maduro’s government… We must guard against simultaneously politicising this topic for political gains which are deemed selfish. If Guyanese are not mobilised around this issue, it becomes a lost cause,” PM Phillips stated.

With the support of the global community and other bilateral partners, PM Phillips has called upon all nations to support Guyana, as it continues to pursue a peaceful resolution through the ICJ.

The prime minister commended the tremendous works of its foreign service officers and ranks of the Guyana Defence Force and Guyana Police Force, to ensure Guyana’s borders are secured.