President Maduro said the U.N. secretary-general responded positively to his request for assistance in finding a diplomatic solution to the ongoing territorial dispute.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that Venezuela seeks to diplomatically address the ongoing territorial dispute with its neighbor Guyana and stressed his government's support for a resolution that respects international law, during his meeting Tuesday with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In a press conference after his meeting at the U.N.’s New York headquarters, Maduro described the meeting as “fruitful” and said that Secretary-General Ki-Moon responded positively to his requests for their assistance in finding a diplomatic solution.
The Venezuelan president said that he devoted time during the one-hour discussion to detailing a brief history of the dispute, stressing that the Essequibo region was always considered a part of Venezuela from the colonial era, through the independence struggles, and to the present day.
President Maduro emphasized that the 1899 demarcation of the territorial limits, which dispossessed Venezuela of the Essequibo region, never included representation by Venezuelans themselves, and therefore Venezuela has always considered the decision “null and void.”
He also stressed the importance of the 1966 Geneva Agreement, signed under the auspices of the U.N. and which included representation from the British government, the Guyanese government, and the Venezuelan government.
Maduro argued that the 1966 agreement inherently implied that the 1899 agreement was invalid and requires that the dispute be handled through mechanisms outlined within it.
One such mechanism outlined in the 1966 agreement is the appointment of a Good Officer to help mediate the dispute.
Two people have served as Good Officer but the post has been vacant since April, 2014. Maduro said that Ki-Moon agreed to activate a commission with the aim of appointing a new Good Officer, in order to channel the dispute through diplomatic channels. He added that Ban also committed to helping organize a bilateral meeting between the presidents of Venezuela and Guyana.
Maduro also expressed frustration in a press conference over the attitude taken by the recently elected president of Guyana, David Granger, who he says has chosen “to ignore the Geneva Agreement.”
On Tuesday, Maduro additionally claimed to possess intelligence that Granger has refused his invitation to an upcoming meeting of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) at the end of August, which will address the border dispute among other issues.
The Venezuelan leader has also criticized the role played by Exxon Mobil Corp., which has been investigating the possibility of oil exploration in disputed waters, calling the actions by the transnational oil company the “main aggravating factor.”
This article has been re-posted from TeleSUR English with additional reporting provided by Venezuelanalysis.com