President Dr Irfaan Ali said that the accreditation of Mr Juan Manuel Pino Vásquez, as Chilean Ambassador to Guyana, is a timely one, particularly as the two countries prepare to commemorate 50 years of bilateral relations.
The Head of State made these remarks following the accreditation ceremony this morning at the Office of the President.
“Your accreditation, therefore, is as timely an occasion to underscore the excellent relations we enjoy, and which have been enhanced in recent years through your Embassy in Georgetown. Our relations have been bolstered by our deep commitment to democratic values, the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law, and the guarantee of fundamental freedoms. We are also enjoined in our commitment to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, and the sanctity of treaties.”
He added that inhabitants of the South American nations harbour similar aspirations in respect to economic opportunities, social advancement and safety and security.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, he emphasised that the Government of Guyana is working to protect the lives and livelihoods of Guyanese while strengthening the foundations of democracy in an effort to build a more resilient and sustainable economy.
“We remain focused in particular on the development of our agriculture sector while harnessing the opportunities in emerging sectors such as oil and gas and information communications technology.”
AREAS OF COOPERATION
President Ali noted that Guyana-Chile relations have been buttressed by cooperation in various areas such as geology, mining, agriculture, and human resource development, which have been expressed at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.
The Framework Agreement on Technical and Scientific Cooperation between the two countries, signed in 1994, he explained, remains a cornerstone of bilateral relations.
“The Statement of Intent on Cooperation in Energy and Mining and the Memorandum of Understanding between the “Andres Bello” Diplomatic Academy of Chile and the Foreign Service Institute of Guyana demonstrate our desire to enhance cooperation.”
“The time is now opportune for further enlargement and diversification of our relations. I welcome your indication of Chile’s interest in strengthening economic and commercial links…I bid you a warm welcome to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. I congratulate you on your appointment and wish you a successful tenure.”
In his remarks, the newly accredited Ambassador stated that Chile shares a similar vision with Guyana regarding development policies, regional and global affairs, human rights, defence of democracy and territorial integrity.
The new Ambassador pointed to future collaborations on major projects in agriculture, training, human resources, and mining development. He also indicated that there would be opportunities for enhanced partnership in other areas, such as the environment, energy, human resource development and human rights.
“This is my first post as an ambassador, and it is an honour to me it started in Guyana, a member country that links South America and the Caribbean in a privileged position. Thank you very much, Mr President.”
Mr Vasquez has served in various international relations positions in South America since 1992.
These include his most recent posts of Counsellor and Consul General of Chile in Argentina from 2016-2017 and Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counsellor in Paraguay.
He is replacing Mr Patricio Becker as Chilean Ambassador to Guyana.
The simple ceremony, which was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, and his Permanent Secretary Elisabeth Harper, was held at the Office of the President on Shiv Chanderpaul Drive.
Guyana and Chile established diplomatic relations on July 22, 1971.