Update: Caracas says seized ship was in Venezuela’s waters illegally

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[www.inewsguyana.com]The Venezuelan Government has issued a statement demanding an explanation from the Guyana government as to why a US Ship was operating in Venezuela’s waters.

This follows a statement issued earlier by Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, which stated that the Venezuelan navy detained the ship, which was conducting research in Guyana’s waters.

In a statement published by the BBC, the Venezuelan government said, “Venezuela expresses its deepest concerns over the manner in which foreign vessels authorised by the government of Guyana enter Venezuelan territorial waters and exclusive economic area.”

The ship belongs to Texas-based company Anadarko, which has been granted a contract to look for oil in the area.

The vessel – the Teknik Perdana – was surveying the seafloor on Thursday when it was approached by a Venezuelan navy vessel and forced to sail to Venezuela’s Margarita Island. At least five US citizens are on board.

According to the Venezuelan statement, “We reiterate that the Bolivarian National Navy would never encroach on the territory of a fraternal nation.”

The foreign ministry reaffirmed Venezuela’s “peaceful vocation” and said it had no intention of “going back to previous situations of confrontation with the Republic of Guyana”.

Meanwhile, Guyana has since warned the Venezuelan authorities that their actions in the disputed Essequibo region constituted “a serious threat to peace in the region”.

“One point is clear: the Teknik Perdana was in Guyana’s waters when this incident took place,” said the Guyanan foreign ministry in a statement.

The vast area west of the Essequibo River makes up two-thirds of the territory of Guyana. It has been claimed by Venezuela as its own since the 19th century, when Guyana was still a British colony.

 

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