US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a call with Guyanese President Irfaan Ali, repeated the US call for a peaceful resolution of the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the disputed territory, the State Department said.
“Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the President of Guyana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali… The Secretary of State reiterated the US call for a peaceful resolution of the dispute and for all parties to respect the 1899 arbitration award defining the land border between Venezuela and Guyana,” the report, published on the State Department website said.
In addition, Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ “unwavering support” for Guyana’s sovereignty.
Venezuela’s territorial dispute with Great Britain and Guyana, a former British colony, has been ongoing since the 19th century. The government of the Bolivarian Republic intensified its actions after the Guyanese authorities began to transfer mineral-rich areas of the disputed shelf to oil companies for development.
A referendum in support of Venezuelan claims to Essequibo territory was held in Venezuela on December 3. Citizens voted to annex this territory to Venezuela. The country’s President Nicolas Maduro said that a new region has now appeared in Venezuela – Guyana-Essequibo.
Guyanese President Irfaan Ali said earlier that the country views Caracas’ actions to integrate the disputed Essequibo region, taken after the referendum, as a threat to national security and intends to appeal to the UN Security Council.