Guyana has registered its concerns with a high-level delegation from the European Union (EU) after it was left out of a list of Caribbean countries that have been granted visa-free entry status to 26 countries in Europe that falls within the Schengen area.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge speaking on the matter at a press conference earlier today (Wednesday) said the issue was a strong point made on Monday during the Sixth Round of European Union-Guyana Political Dialogue under the framework of Article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement.
Back in 2015, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines joined Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados and Saint Kitts and Nevis as countries that were granted visa-free travel to Schengen member states.
To this end, in leaving out Guyana, Minister Greenidge posited that the move is a discriminatory one.
“We have expressed concern, if not alarm, about the treatment of Guyanese to an EU delegation of eight to thirteen members who are visiting Guyana”, Greenidge told the media.
“As a matter of fact, as far as we can see from the criteria they used, Guyana falls squarely among those countries that don’t pose a risk and therefore it should be treated differently,” the Foreign Minister said.
Moreover, the Foreign Affairs Minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the approach being taken in addressing the matter.
However, Greenidge disclosed that that Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Maria Mogherini, has stated that the EU will examine Guyana’s concerns when a new EU council is in place.