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GUYANA | Britain joins US and CARICOM in reaffirming Guyana's Sovereignty

Featured Britain’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn Britain’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, December 25, 2018 - Britain has joined the United States and CARICOM in reaffirming Guyana's, sovereignty following an incident on Saturday in which Venezuela’s Navy attempted to land a helicopter on the Bahamas-flagged Ramform Tethys, a seismic research vessel that ExxonMobil hired from the Norway-based Petro Geological Services to gather data from the western end of the Stabroek Block in Guyanese waters.

“The rule of law must be respected and those who have the legitimate permissions to operate and undertake their activities must be allowed the do so,” Britain’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn told Demerara Waves Online News.

High Commissioner Quinn said that “the UK (United Kingdom) is clear that the 1899 Arbitral Award settled the border between Guyana and Venezuela. We support the ongoing work of the UN Secretary General.”

CARICOM, in a statement on Monday, expressed grave concern about Venezuela’s incursion into Guyanese maritime space. “Such acts violate the sovereign rights of Guyana under international law, its entitlement to a territorial sea, Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf, and pose a threat to Guyana’s economic development and national security.”

"The Caribbean Community reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, including its right to peacefully explore and exploit its onshore and offshore resources,”  Caricom said.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, Kimberly Breier has said, “Venezuela’s navy aggressively stopped @exxonmobil vessels Dec 22 that #Guyana authorized to explore & exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Guyana’s sovereign right. We call on #Venezuela to respect int’l law and neighbors’ rights.”

US State Department spokesman, Robert Palladino said also: “We underscore that Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone. We call on Venezuela to respect international law and the rights of its neighbors.”

The incident, according to Guyana, occurred at a position of N 09 deg 17.19 min / W 058 deg 16.20 min at about 140 kilometres from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela.

However, Venezuela on Sunday said there were two vessels- the Ramfor Tethys which was located at 09° 17′ 4″ North, 058°15′ 7″ West and the Trinidad and Tobago-flagged  Delta Monarch that was located at 058° 17′ 3″ West.

Venezuela has  refused to enter a substantial appearance before the International Court of Justice to settle the controversy over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award that Guyana has historically maintained settled the land boundary between the two countries.

Venezuela wants the matter to be dealt with bilaterally through mediation, a 50-year old process which Guyana has said has failed.

  • Countries: Guyana

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