Venezuelan Navy commandeers seismic vessel from Guyana water

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[www.inewsguyana.com]Venezuela’s navy on Thursday, October 11 took control of a research vessel, which was conducting a survey in the Roraima Block offshore Guyana.

As such, Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is demanding that the vessel be released immediately.

“The Government of Guyana was informed that at approximately 16:00 hrs on Thursday 10th October, 2013 a Venezuelan armed naval vessel, the “Yekuana”, was trailing the seismic vessel, the RV Teknik Perdana which is under contract with Anadarko. The naval vessel obstructed the research vessel’s passage, requested them to change course and stop surveying. As is known, Anadarko has a petroleum prospecting licence to search for hydrocarbons in the Roraima block offshore Guyana,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

According to the Ministry, the crew of the RV Teknik Perdana explained to the crew of the Venezuelan vessel that they were conducting a multi-beam survey of the seafloor in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.

“The Venezuelan crew insisted that the vessel was doing such work in Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone and instructed that the vessel switch off its engines and shut down its seismic equipment.”

The Ministry noted that the Venezuelan navy ordered the Guyanese vessel to sail to the island of Margarita in Venezuela.

“It was then clear that the vessel and its crew were not only being escorted out of Guyana’s waters, but were under arrest. These actions by the Venezuelan naval vessel are unprecedented in Guyana Venezuela relations, the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated.

The Ministry maintains that the vessel was in Guyana’s waters when this incident took place.

“The Government of Guyana has expressed to the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela its grave concern about the incident involving the RV Teknik Perdana and has requested the immediate release of the vessel and its crew.  Guyana intends to employ all peaceful means to facilitate a prompt return to the status quo ante since neither the Venezuelan naval vessel, the agents of Venezuela, its Government nor any other State has the authority to exercise any action in Guyana’s territorial waters, its continental shelf or its exclusive economic zone without its express consent.”

The Ministry noted that the actions taken by the Venezuelan navy vessel constitute a serious threat to the peace of the sub-region.

APNU supports Government in condemning the act

Meanwhile, a Partnership for National Unity (APNU) at a press conference earlier on Friday expressed its unqualified support for a strong response by the Government of Guyana to safeguard this country’s territorial integrity.

APNU’s leader, David Granger told reporters that the actions of the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela constitute a threat to international peace and is calling on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to fulfill its obligations under Article 33 – for the “Pacific Settlement of Disputes” –of the Charter of the United Nationsand to desist from resorting to armed force in its relations with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

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