[www.inewsguyana.com] – President David Granger is calling on the United Kingdom to stand in solidarity with Guyana against Venezuela’s continued aggression towards the country’s oil rich territory.
Over the past weeks tensions between Guyana and Venezuela have flared after President Nicholas Maduro issued a decree signalling a new claim to Guyana’s territory following the discovery of oil by US oil giant ExxonMobil.
President Granger, while making a toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 89th Birthday, pointed out that the territory controversy started since colonial days.
He said “the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana welcomes the United Kingdom’s support for Guyana’s position on the claims being generated by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela over our settled borders. Guyana-Venezuela relations, since the independence of Guyana in 1966, have been affected by intermittent and aggressive claims by Venezuela on Guyana’s territory.”
The President said that it has become increasingly clear that Venezuela intends to put Guyana under pressure and stymie its development by its unfriendly actions.
The President has already stated that the U.S Oil giant has nothing to worry about with respect to the integrity of its drilling operations.
When questioned by the media on Wednesday June 10, the President said that he does not believe that the decree poses a threat to the physical integrity of the platform. This is despite the government already stating the decree empowers the Venezuelan Navy to secure the controversial area.
President Granger also stated that he is at odds to ascertain why Venezuela would want to make such a claim on the country’s territory at this point in Guyana’s history.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, James Gregory Quinn has already dismissed Venezuela’s most recent claim on Guyana’s oil rich Essequibo Coast, stating that it lacks solid grounds.
In an invited comment to iNews, Quinn had pointed out that “the UK is clear that the Venezuela-Guyana land border is, and should be, as agreed under the 1899 Arbitration Agreement.”
Quinn contended that the 1966 Geneva Agreement did not change that adding “indeed Article V(2) of that agreement states: ‘No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty … shall be asserted while this Agreement is in force, nor shall any claim whatsoever be asserted otherwise than in the Mixed Commission.’
Given these international agreements, Quinn says the claim is baseless.
“Connected to this we see no grounds in international law which would justify recent Venezuelan claims to what we consider to be Guyanese territorial waters,” the High Commissioner stated.