GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has extended an invitation to President David Granger to a one on one meeting ahead of addressing world leaders at the 70th UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Tuesday.
A statement from Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the president extended the call to Granger to facilitate a meeting “in which they can find a positive way to clear obstacles in relations between the two governments.”
The state owned Guyana Chronicle newspaper says the statement dated September 22, was issued on the same day that the Government of Guyana announced what it described as “unusual” activities at the Guyana-Venezuela border and on the Cuyuni River.
Approximately 200 military troops have been participating in what the Venezuelan Minister of Defence called “operational exercises”.
The Venezuelan President said he is prepared to undertake all diplomatic actions with the aim of resolving the border controversy but maintained that Venezuela has a legitimate claim of Guyana’s Essequibo Region.
Maduro said his country has always respected and supported Guyana.
“We love and respect the people of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana… Venezuela has been the country that has most helped Guyana in its history, since it was the site of British Guiana,” he said.
But the Venezuelan doubted whether the president and people of Guyana were equally affectionate towards the people of Venezuela.
The Venezuelan leader believes that “imperial centres are reviving international threats to spark a conflict with Guyana through the ‘Operation Pincer’ against the Bolivarian Revolution.”
“But against this new attack by international law, I aspire, hope and fight for Venezuela to recover its Guyana Essequibo, in peace,” he added.
Maduro denounced attempts to revive conflict between Venezuela and Guyana noting that “Venezuela has the legal and historical reason to make the claim for Guyana Essequibo, and that only through international law and the Geneva Accord can it finally resolve this situation,” the statement said.
In July, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said Guyana is not open to having a one-on-one meeting with Maduro. Greenidge said, “We are not meeting one-on-one, there is no proposal to meet one-on-one…what would we meet one-on-one for?” The Foreign Affairs Minister did however state that there is adequate room at the level of the United Nations for discussions to be conducted.
In May, Maduro issued a Decree that included all the Atlantic waters off the Essequibo Coast.
The purported annexation of the waters off Essequibo takes in the oil-rich Stabroek Block, where American oil giant Exxon Mobil said it found a “significant” reserve of high quality crude oil.
ExxonMobil said the discovery was made in one of the two wells it dug, in the Liza-1 drill site, which realised more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone.
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