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Venezuela, Guyana Leaders to Meet Over Border Spat, CELAC Says – Bloomberg

    Meeting set for Thursday on St. Vincent and the Grenadines     Venezuelan official indicated that a meeting is possible
Meeting set for Thursday on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Venezuelan official indicated that a meeting is possible

Philip Sanders, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 12 12 2023

The presidents of Venezuela and Guyana have agreed to meet in an attempt to defuse mounting tensions over Venezuela’s claim to oil-rich territorial waters and land belonging to its neighbor, according to two regional bodies.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, and the Caribbean Community arranged the meeting for 10 a.m. on Thursday on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, according to a statement from the prime minister of St. Vincent. 

In response to questions about the meeting between Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Guyana’s Irfaan Ali, a Venezuelan official said that all is possible and the government was committed to peace, asking not to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. Guyana’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent Saturday evening.

The leader of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been invited at the request of the two countries, said St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the current president of CELAC.

The Caribbean Community and CELAC have agreed on “the urgent need to de-escalate the conflict and institute an appropriate dialogue,” according to the statement.

Any talks won’t be easy. The parliament of Guyana has unanimously instructed Ali not to discuss the controversy with the government of Venezuela, while Venezuelans in a recent referendum rejected the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in the issue. Guyana is seeking to resolve the dispute through the ICJ.

“Time is of the essence,” Gonsalves said in the statement. “Let us all resolve to make this historic gathering a successful one.”

–With assistance from Fabiola Zerpa.

bloomberg,com 12 09 2023

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