Essequibo oil crisis: Venezuela warns Guyana against "external interference"

World 15:50 26.01.2024

On Thursday, Venezuela called on Guyana to reject any outside "interference" in the dispute between the two countries over Essequibo, an oil-rich territory under Guyanese administration and claimed by Caracas, Ednews informs referring to La Tribune.

The Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yvan Gil, and his Guyanese counterpart Hugh Hilton Todd met on Thursday in the Brazilian capital Brasilia to discuss this dispute, which since the end of 2023 has raised fears of a conflict in the region. Brazil, which shares borders with both countries, is acting as mediator in the crisis, under the leadership of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

At the end of the meeting, the Venezuelan minister urged Guyana to "absolutely reject the possibility of third parties interfering in or benefiting from" this conflict. It was "a very frank, very open discussion", added Yvan Gil. He also stressed the importance of drawing up "a roadmap" for resolving the territorial dispute diplomatically, calling on his neighbour to "reaffirm that neither party will resort to threats or the use of force".

For his part, the Guyanese minister stated that his country remained "committed to resolving the controversy (...) in a very peaceful manner". However, Hugh Hilton Todd reiterated his country's position: as far as Guyana is concerned, it is up to the International Court of Justice to settle the dispute. However, Caracas does not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICJ.

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