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Guyana President Emphasises Peace Amid Venezuela Border Controversy

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Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Ali declared in a Christmas message to his compatriots that his country remains ‘wedded to the ideal of peace’.

“Guyana remains wedded to the ideal of peace, peace within our nation and peace with all our neighbours,” Ali stated.

He spoke amid an unresolved border controversy with Venezuela, which claims more than two-thirds of Guyana’s territory in the resource-rich Essequibo region.

Owing to the growing tensions, Ali and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro recently met at the Argyle International Airport in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where they committed to peace in an 11-point joint declaration.

While emphasising the need for peace, President Ali spoke of the responsibility to call on everyone involved in war and using conflict, war and force as a means to peace, to halt their actions and ‘give peace a chance’.

“Let us stop the slaughter of children and women across the world, the slaughter of children and women in Palestine, and acts of terrorism. We must stop it,” the Guyana President stated.

“We must find a way to resolve these conflicts and bring peace to those families because peace around the world depends on each of us as a country, as individuals and as citizens of the world,” Ali said.

He spoke amid reports that Guyana and the United Kingdom (UK) would engage in joint military activities to promote capacity building.

According to the BBC, the UK’s Ministry of Defence confirmed that the HMS Trent would be deployed to Guyana to facilitate joint exercises after Christmas.

The exercises would be a show of support for Guyana amid the border controversy with Venezuela.

The controversy is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The state-owned Guyana Chronicle has reported that Guyana will fortify its defences through increased military spending in the 2024 budget.

However, the publication quoted General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, saying that the primary objective was to bolster Guyana’s security apparatus in a defensive capacity, clarifying that there are no intentions to launch attacks on any nation, including Venezuela.

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