Guyana’s Head of State, President David Granger has hailed the decision to refer the controversy arising out of the claim by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Guyana’s territory, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
United Nation’s (UN) Secretary General Mr. Antonio Gutteres announced on Tuesday that the ‘Good Offices’ process has not resulted in an amicable settlement of the controversy and as such referred the case to the ICJ.
President Granger in a televised address to the nation, via the State’s National Communications Network (NCN) on Tuesday said “Guyana remains confident in the correctness of its case.”
According to President Granger, the South American nation looks forward to the reaffirmation of the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award before the International Court of Justice.”
Guyana’s position, he said, has always been that the basis of the controversy is a legal question, which should be resolved peacefully and conclusively through a legal process.
According to Head of State, the country “will take all the necessary steps to ensure that its national patrimony will be protected for all time…Guyana remains committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for international agreements and treaties and to maintaining friendly relations with its neighbours.”
The decision by the UN Secretary General comes at a time when US oil major, ExxonMobil, has begun to accelerate its development of the Liza field in anticipation of first oil come 2020.
Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s territory was extended to its maritime shelf engulfing sections of the Stabroek block within which ExxonMobil holds its concession.
According to President Granger, “Guyana will pursue the path ahead in furtherance of the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity with quiet confidence and with the assurance in ever improving relations with its neighbours, Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela.”