Guyana appoints new ambassador to Venezuela

February 21, 2024 in Regional

Guyana’s new ambassador to Venezuela, Dr Richard Van West-Charles, has presented his credentials to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and pledging to work towards advancing the relations between the two countries.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said that Dr Van West-Charles had presented his credentials during a ceremony held at the Miraflores Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

“Ambassador Van West-Charles conveyed greetings from His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and the people of Guyana. He expressed his commitment to work towards advancing the relations between Guyana and Venezuela,” the statement said.

It said that President Maduro requested the Guyanese diplomat “to convey a message of high regard to President Ali, stating his great respect for the President and the people of Guyana.

“The presentation of credentials signifies the commitment of Guyana and Venezuela to uphold diplomatic norms and pursue avenues for enhanced bilateral cooperation,” the statement said.

The two countries have an ongoing territorial dispute over the ownership of the Essequibo region, which makes up about two-thirds of Guyana and is home to 125,000 of the country’s 800,000 citizens.

Both Guyana and Venezuela have made presentations to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) relating to the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the border between Venezuela and the then-British Guiana, confirmed as legally enforceable.

Last December, Guyana and Venezuela’s leaders ended a meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines agreeing “directly or indirectly” not to threaten or use force against one another in any circumstances, as they continue to seek a resolution to the border dispute between them.

The Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela, also indicated that the two countries agreed that “any controversies” between them will be resolved in accordance with international law, including the Geneva Agreement dated February 17, 1966.