President Dr Irfaan Ali moments ago arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines where he will be engaged in high level talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
“I’m taking the facts with me and the facts remain that the 1899 Award clearly defines the border between Guyana and Venezuela,” President Ali told the media upon his arrival at the Argyle International Airport, where the meeting will take place.
President Ali is accompanied by a number of officials including Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Foreign Minister Hugh Todd, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud and others.
Maduro and his Vice President Delcy Rodriguez have also arrived for the engagement.
These talks were largely brokered by St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in his role as President Pro Tempore of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), and came in the wake of a discussion President Ali held with the leadership of the Caribbean Community (Caricom). Current Chairman of Caricom, Roosevelt Skerritt, Prime Minister of Dominica, is slated to be at the engagement, as well as Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley.
President Ali has since made it clear that the matter of the border controversy was not up for discussion, as it was being adjudicated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The Guyanese leader had explained that even though talks on the border controversy are off the table, there are a number of other matters that can be discussed with Maduro, including issues surrounding migration and climate change. He had indicated that these talks could help to maintain the region as a zone of peace.