Britain, Guyana reaffirm friendship as South American country preps for oil windfall

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(From L) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings and Mrs. Wendy Quinn look on as President David Granger and British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Greg Quinn cut the symbolic birthday day. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Guyana’s President, David Granger, on Thursday said the United Kingdom remains a strategic partner of Guyana, noting that the relationship between the two countries has provided valuable assistance to Guyana in numerous fields.

The President was at the time speaking at a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Greg Quinn, at his residence, on the occasion of the 93rd birth anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“Our relations are founded on the five principles. Those are mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; cooperation for mutual benefit; respect for international law and treaties and the maintenance of international peace and security. Britain remains a strategic partner of Guyana. Britain has provided valuable assistance to Guyana in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, culture, disaster-relief, education, economic competitiveness, governance, investment, law enforcement, trade, water supply and very particularly, reform of the judicial service, public sector and security sector,” the Head of State said.

The British High Commission in Guyana has also been playing a key role in facilitating business to business pursuits in the South American country’s emerging oil and gas industry. The High Commission in Guyana facilitated a delegation to Aberdeen in November 2018, focusing on oil and gas opportunities. Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councilor Barney Crocket, also visited Georgetown, Guyana in March during which focus was placed on building alliances in the area of oil and gas. Additionally, High Commissioner Quinn has said he will be playing a key role to ensure there is Guyanese participation at the upcoming oil and gas conference in Aberdeen, billed for September 2019.

President Granger told those gathered at the reception on Thursday that, “Guyana iterates its appreciation to the United Kingdom for its unwavering support for our sovereignty and territorial integrity, for its generous debt relief and for the anticipated benefits under the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund. We are confident that the strong ties, which exist between our two states will be strengthened in the years ahead.”

He said British assistance during the tenure of High Commissioner Quinn, “has touched the hinterland and coastland, the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations. Guyana looks forward to continued collaboration with Britain for the protection of the environment, the promotion of security and the development of the economy through enhanced investment and trade between our two countries.”

Meanwhile, High Commissioner Quinn, in his remarks, echoed these sentiments as he too noted that the two countries have made great strides over the past years. Among the successes, he highlighted is the establishment of ties between the City of Aberdeen and the City of Georgetown.

“Guyana is on the cusp of unparalleled wealth. We have worked here with our friends across a wide range of political, economic and cultural issues. What I would like to highlight however, is that in the last year, we have cemented the links between Aberdeen and the City of Georgetown. All of this is designed to help Georgetown learn from the good and the bad of dealing with oil and gas. We have also made links between the United Kingdom and Guyanese businesses not just in oil and gas, but retail, consumer goods, services and other skills and I look forward to heading a team from Guyana to Aberdeen in August,” he noted.