The government of Guyana will be looking forward to Canada’s support against the territorial claims by Venezuela even as it seeks to strengthen its ties and bilateral agreements with the state, through new Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Pierre Giroux.
This was communicated to the diplomat by Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge at a reception hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner at his residence.
The long-running border dispute between South American neighbors Guyana and Venezuela was renewed when Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro issued a decree earlier this year, claiming sovereignty over Guyana’s territorial waters in the Essequibo region of the Atlantic Ocean.
Maps created by Venezuela’s National Organization for Rescue and Maritime Safety (ONSA), after the decree, indicate that the claim would include a large part of the Stabroek Block, where ExxonMobil discovered oil earlier this year.
In welcoming the High Commissioner to Guyana, Greenidge said that Guyana has always had a long history of friendship and collaboration with Canada, both at the governmental level and through people to people interactions.
“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1966, our two countries have worked closely in areas of common interest on a bilateral, regional and global agenda and this close friendship was facilitated on the positions we share on a variety of areas. Guyana values these relations and looks forward to the continuing growth of this partnership,” he said.
He noted that some of the country’s largest investors, especially in the mining industry, are Canadians, while a number of projects and programs for community and national development, were made possible through this partnership.
Minister Greenidge committed the new administration’s efforts to fostering and building partnerships with all states.
“We wish to applaud you for the relationship we have shared. We hope to build on the areas of success that have characterized our relationship. This new administration will seek to improve Guyana’s international standing. It is important that the country continues on an upward trajectory. We are committed to working with partners in the region to enhance security, democracy, as well as prosperity,” he said.
High Commissioner Giroux agreed that Canada’s relationship with Guyana is one that is long and friendly and it is his hope, that this can be further strengthened with his presence here.
He noted that with the recent discovery of oil, Guyana is on the verge of profound changes and Canada wanted to ensure that a firm partnership is established to maximize the country’s potential.
“We want to build and move forward. The Canadian High Commission will work tirelessly to build and foster this relationship between Guyana and Canada,” he said.