… Says border disputes must be settled in ICJ

Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has joined in the condemnation of Venezuela’s decree

Canada has become the latest country to join in dismissing Venezuela’s recently renewed claims to Essequibo and its maritime space, reminding the Spanish-speaking country that the border dispute must be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ), where the case is currently resting.
According to a statement on Monday by the Canadian Embassy in Guyana, Venezuela’s recent allegations contained in a decree issued by their President, Nicolás Maduro, are worrying.

President Irfaan Ali

“Venezuela’s recent claim of sovereignty over the area near the Essequibo coast of Guyana is worrying. The decision is in the hands of the International Court of Justice and this judicial process must be respected, ”the Canadian embassy said.
The United States (US) Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch only made a statement on the issue on Sunday in which he reiterated the need for a peaceful resolution to the Guyana border debate.
“The United States has long called for a peaceful legal decision to debate Guyana’s border with Venezuela and we are repeating that call today,” the diplomat tweeted, also sharing a post from the Assistant Secretary of the US Bureau of Western Affairs, Michael Kozak, where he condemned Maduro’s decree.
In his tweet, Ambassador Kozak reiterated that the United States supports the ICJ’s December 18, 2020 ruling that it has jurisdiction over Guyana-Venezuela territorial border disputes, which he claimed is the “legal and peaceful way forward.”

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

“The United States supports the ICJ’s 12/18 ruling that it has jurisdiction over the Guyana-Venezuela territorial border issue, which is the legal and peaceful way forward. Maduro’s abusive allegations do not change this, he only shows the world his disregard for his neighbors and the intro. law, ”a State Department official had posed.
The new decree issued by President Maduro on Thursday came days before the world court is scheduled to hold a case management hearing on Guyana’s request for a final and binding settlement of the border debate with Venezuela.

However, President Dr Irfaan Ali declared on Saturday that, although this latest move by the Spanish-speaking nation is “vexatious”, it will not stop Guyana’s decision to seek a final and binding decision in the ICJ.
“We have always chosen a path of peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan issue within international law … I am reminded that Guyana (British Guiana) has been granted sovereignty over this coast, and the land territory to which it is attached. at the time) in the 1899 Arbitration Award, whose legitimacy and legally binding character of Guyana are confident that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will uphold it unequivocally, ”President Ali asserted during a speech to the nation.
According to the Head of State, Venezuela has violated at least two basic principles of international law, that is, no State can unilaterally set its international borders and the basic principle that “the land dominates the sea”, meaning that sovereignty over the sea and the seabed derives from a title to the land that forms the coastline adjacent to that seas and bed.
To this end, the Guyanese leader called Venezuela’s new border claim “legally void” that will not be recognized by Guyana or any other State in the world. Meanwhile, President Ali also revealed during the nation’s speech on Saturday that Venezuela’s Head of Mission in Guyana would be summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the decree.

Parliamentary Meeting
Minister Hugh Todd, however, received an update from the Parliamentary Sector Committee on Foreign Relations on recent developments concerning the Guyana-Venezuela issue.
“The Committee notes the latest acts of aggression by the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela to advance its spectacular claim to the territory of Guyana and joins the Government of Guyana in condemning in the strongest possible terms the operation of any law by Venezuela with extraterrestrial application and which sought to give Venezuela jurisdiction over maritime and submarine areas on the basis of unilateral action only, in violation of international law and without due regard to Guyana’s rights. ”
In a media release after the meeting, he noted that the Committee supports the efforts of the Government of Guyana to take all necessary steps to protect Guyana’s national interests and reiterates the sentiments already echoed that Guyana stands united and firm in defense our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Venezuela’s decree of sovereign rights to a maritime border off the Essequibo Coast of Guyana came the same day that the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) announced that its US Coast Guard and Coast Guard would begin the first of a series of joint exercises offshore Guyana.
This is part of the implementation of the Shiprider Agreement ratified by Guyana and the US back in September 2020 during the visit of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. The exercise will take place off the coast of Guyana and will focus primarily on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. It will be conducted in conjunction with the US Coast Guard Cutter STONE ship, which is currently in the region for a multi-country tour.

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