Presidents Granger and Bouterse discuss new developments in CARICOM and South America

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, July 07, 2018

Guyana’s Head of State, H.E President David Granger, on Friday last, met bilaterally with his Surinamese counterpart, H.E Desi Bouterse. The two met on the sidelines of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM to review the changing situation in the Caribbean and South America.

According to President Granger, the opportunity was taken to discuss matters of mutual concern.

“Whenever we meet we try to speak. Unfortunately, because of various reasons I have been travelling quite a lot and we have not been able to have our regular meeting, so we are just reviewing the changing situation in the Caribbean and also on the continent of South America,” President Granger said.

Additionally, the Guyanese Head of State said the meeting also allowed for the two neighbouring presidents to plan for future meetings and identify matters to be discussed.

“In a sense, we’re setting the agenda for a further meeting between President Bouterse and myself. So, it’s an agenda setting meeting and at the same time it’s a review of certain developments which have taken place since our last meeting.”

Security matters, such as piracy, were discussed and the two Heads of State have agreed to work to find short to long-term solutions.

“As a matter of urgency, you know we have the security problem affecting the fishermen and we are looking to deal with issues which could be resolved in the short and middle term to ensure that there is no lawlessness as occurred in April,” President Granger said.

Following a visit to neighbouring Suriname in July 2016 by President David Granger, with a view to expediting the implementation of various decisions that had been taken earlier, President Desi Bouterse, in turn, made an official state visit in December 2016 to Guyana for a one-day working meeting in Georgetown.

The two countries have agreed to work to expedite the re-establishment of the Guyana-Suriname Cooperation Council, along with the appointment of a special envoy, whose main responsibility will be to advance the implementation of agreements reached by the two States.

Additionally, a joint communique issued by the two parties stated that technical officials from Guyana and Suriname will meet to discuss issues in relation to the protection of the environment, agricultural trade, tourism, investment and cross-border activities, through their respective committees.
“Both leaders agreed that full advantage should be taken of the opportunities for combining human and capital resources to further the economic and social development of the peoples of Guyana and Suriname,” the Communique had stated.”

By: Kidackie Amsterdam.

Photo: Kawaise Wishart.