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Venezuelan President ends one day visit to Guyana
2013-09-01 17:54:32 | (0 Comments)
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug 31, CMC – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ended a one-day visit to Guyana on Saturday in a move that strengthens the relationship between the two countries that have had a long standing border dispute.
The two countries have agreed to ask the Jamaica-born academic, Professor Norman Girvan to continue as the United Nations (UN) Good Officer as they seek to settle their border dispute.
President Ramotar told reporters that both countries have also agreed “to renew the Good Officer process of the United Nations. We think that Professor Girvan has been doing a good job and we agreed that we would make that request to the United Nations to have this process continued”.
The Good Officer will assist both countries in the search for a practical settlement of the controversy that emerged from the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 is null and void, thus claiming a significant amount of Guyana’s territory.
Girvan, an internationally renowned Caribbean economist, academic and international civil servant, who also served as Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), was appointed in 2010, three years after the death of the Oliver Jackman, who served as the Personal Representative of the Un Secretary General Ban Ki-moon from October 1999 to January 2007.
Maduro told reporters that the two South American countries were committed to the diplomatic and legal measures in settling the border controversy.
“We are ready to work through the United Nations as the sole process,” said Maduro, adding it was now up to the officials from both countries implement the decisions as quickly as possible.
The Venezuelan leader who came to office in the election that followed the death of Hugo Chavez from cancer in March, was met on arrival by President Donld Ramotar and inspected a Guard of Honour at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport before being whisked to the capital where he held bilateral talks with his host on a range of issues including PetroCaribe, the Caracas-led oil initiative under which Guyana abd several Caribbean countries purchase oil at concessionary rates.
The Joint Declaration issued at the end of the talks said the two leaders “acknowledged the potential cooperation under the PetroCaribe mechanism and the new cooperation initiatives proposed, which include the bilateral drugs agreement, furtherance of the proposals for cultural cooperation and capacity building in the area of Spanish language training for Guyanese and English language training for Venezuelans”
It said that the two leaders “reviewed the achievements of the PetroCaribe mechanism” with ramotar congratuling his visiting colleague “on the initiative by Venezuelan to establish the Petrocaribe Economic Zone (PEZ), which has been created to safeguard and manage the resources in the region.
“ The Presidents express their commitment to build up emphasized the importance of the Petrocaribe Summit of Heads of State and Government as the appropriate forum for strengthening the initiative and guiding it towards the new challenges and objectives that are imminent.”
The statement also indicated that the two leaders had received a report on the Guyana/Venezuela High level Bilateral Commission held on Friday that covered areas ranging from political consultation to energy, education and culture.
“Arising out of these discussions, the Presidents noted with satisfaction the continuity of the exports of rice and paddy to Venezuela and the supply of petroleum to Guyana”
The two leaders also agreed to establish a direct air link between their countries through the Venezuelan-owned CONVIASA airline, “which has the capacity to transport 70 passengers twice weekly.
“With the aim of consolidating the airline sector, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela offered the Government of Guyana capacity building in the area of training of technicians and flight operations inspectors.”
The leaders also agreed to quickly develop strategies “to hasten the rate of implementation of the outstanding and the new cooperation initiatives under the Guyana/ Venezuela High Level Bilateral Commission” and requested their respective foreign ministers to closely monitor the further execution of these activities.
The joint statement stated that both leaders had emphasized the importance of trade to regional development and made reference to President Maduro’s statement to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders in Trinidad in July to strengthen trade relations.
“They noted also the proposals for cooperation between CARICOM and Venezuela including areas such as security, air and sea transportation, energy and the development of a social and cultural plan,” the statement said, adding that both Presidents” expressed optimism for the potential that exists for an enhanced relationship between CARICOM and Venezuela that would redound to the benefit of their peoples”.
The two leaders also discussed the role of regional organizations such as Union for South American Nations (UNASUR) “in bringing the Latin American and Caribbean region closer together and in providing a voice for the region on international fora to address issues of interest and concern to the region, including peace and security, climate change and sustainable development”.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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