By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader and Former President Bharrat Jagdeo says under his tenure, he would have considered the option of surrendering parts of Guyana’s riverain territory to Venezuela.
Jagdeo made the disclosure at a press conference on Friday afternoon, October 23, where he disclosed some of his concerns about the methods being employed by President David Granger to bring the issue to a defined solution.
“There were other options that involved a negotiated settlement which did not see any land concessions that the 1899 award would remain intact…you could probably on the maritime area, give Venezuela a channel out to the sea. So you make a slight concession in the maritime area but ensure that you do not concede any territory that is land-based,” said Jagdeo, a former President.
But Jagdeo was emphatic that there are several other options at the disposal of the APNU+AFC administration and the United Nations that would see the ultimate resolution of the border controversy.
The Leader of the Opposition questioned whether the juridical option was the best given the dynamics of the situation and whether it would see the UN pulling out of the process; something which he objected to.
“There are several other options, I am not saying the juridical option is bad, I am saying did we decide as a country to go this route – can we go it alone? What is Venezuela does not want to go this route?” he questioned.
“Will it means us losing the UN because this option is not available in their charter. I am not questioning the juridical route I am just saying that it is very important (to know whether the UN was on board,)” Jagdeo added.
He maintained that the PPP supports the government of Guyana on the border issue and that should not be questioned.
“Keep the United Nations involved even if you go the juridical route…keep the UN involved at all costs,” stated Jagdeo. Pointing to the border issue with Suriname, Jagdeo stated that from where he sits he is certain that the issue never left the President Desi Bouterse’s agenda.
“I don’t know if it ever left the agenda. There are times when they would not mention it but I was in no way under the illusion that it was not on their agenda,” he stated.
But despite that statement, Jagdeo was pellucid that the Guyana’s border with Suriname is settled and the “New River Triangle is ours by agreement.”
Meanwhile, Jagdeo is advocating that the APNU+AFC administration expeditiously put steps in place for the establishment of a Border Committee.