– British State Minister to visit Guyana
President David Granger on Wednesday met with the Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England in a private meeting during which they discussed the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) – a network of forest conservation initiatives which involves all 52 countries of the Commonwealth.
These discussions were held in the context of President Granger’s “green state” development agenda. The meeting marks the first time a Guyanese leader has met with Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom.
Following the meeting, President Granger posited that relations between the two countries were “becoming warmer”, adding that the relationship between Her Majesty’s Government and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana has benefited immensely from the interactions during his visit.
The Guyanese Head of State further noted that the meeting was significant because, although he was not on an official State visit, he was able to meet with Her Majesty, who remained an influential world leader.
“The Queen is Head of the Commonwealth. When she adopts a programme, which is a ‘green’ programme, which is entirely consistent with Guyana’s ‘green’ agenda, it is very significant for Guyana and Guyanese, and, of course, she is a very influential person from a moral point of view; intellectual, philosophical point of view around the world… I can say that it was of the utmost significance for me, and for Guyana that she, since 2015 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, laid out this policy of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy… As Head of State, it was an honour for me to meet the Queen and to share the vision of, not only a Green State, a Green Guyana, but also a Green Commonwealth,” he said.
President Granger went on to say that he would continue to promote the concept of environmental protection and preservation as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), while ensuring Guyana’s commitment to becoming a ‘green’ state remained undiminished.
“[The Queen] is convinced that this is the way to save the earth, to save the Commonwealth, to save our country and I’m in full support of her,” he added.
Moreover, the President also expressed Guyana’s gratitude to Her Majesty for Britain’s support on the implementation of the Security Sector Reform Action Plan in Guyana. In January this year, UK military officer Russell Combe arrived in Guyana to oversee the implementation of the Plan.
This matter was also emphasised during President Granger’s meeting with Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson, Wednesday at the House of Lords.
The President said that these meetings have augured well for Guyana’s relationship with the UK at both a governmental and private sector level.
“The main takeaway is Guyana’s commitment to continuing as a member of the Commonwealth and as a State that is attractive to investment from British investors; a State that is organised and administered on the principles of accountability and transparency and a State that is friendly to investors. And in meeting with Foreign Secretary Johnson, he is quite aware of the issues affecting Guyana and we saw eye to eye on those issues,” the President said.
Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns, DBE, has announced that she would be visiting Guyana from May 1-3, as part of a three-country tour which includes Trinidad and Venezuela.
The British Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office made this announcement at the Caribbean Council’s House of Lords Annual Reception on Tuesday evening, where President Granger also delivered an address outlining Guyana’s abundant resources, investment potential and its strengthened legal and regulatory framework for the national and multilateral investors, who attended the event.
During her visit, Baroness Anelay will meet with the Guyanese Head of State; the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo; Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, and members of the Private Sector.