Long-term resolution needed for Roraima block exploration, Rodrigues-Birkett says

- Girvan to float steps to address border controversy

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett says further seismic exploration of the Roraima Block is contingent on a longer term resolution to the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

“If you are going to resolve the matter and both countries have held on to their positions that it was in their jurisdiction then you have to find a longer term solution. That is where it is right now,” she told Stabroek News yesterday.

Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett
Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett
 Norman Girvan
Norman Girvan

Two Thursdays ago, a US-operated ship, the Teknik Perdana, was conducting seismic surveys in the Roraima Block when it was intercepted and escorted to the Venezuelan island of Margarita by a Venezuelan naval vessel. The ship and its crew were under contract by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation at the time the incident occurred.

Both Guyana and Venezuela have maintained that the incident occurred in their territorial waters and had demanded explanations from one another. Guyana demanded Venezuela’s explanation on why it seized a ship in Guyana’s waters, while Venezuela demanded an explanation from Guyana on why it gave permission for a ship to operate in its (Venezuela’s) waters.

Last Thursday, delegations from Guyana and Venezuela met in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad in an effort to decide on the way forward.

During the meeting, both sides committed to resolving the matter through peaceful means and agreed to have technical representatives meet in four months to decide on a permanent solution.

Missing, however, was a formal indication as to whether Guyana would be able to continue its oil-exploration ventures while the two countries worked out their maritime differences.

Yesterday, however, the minister indicated that a decision in that regard was implied.

Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) yesterday announced that a proposal by Norman Girvan, who is the personal representative of the UN Secretary General in the Good Offices process, to offer a series of further steps on addressing the controversy, has been welcomed by both sides.

A statement released by the UN said that Girvan had “productive separate meetings” with the foreign ministers of Guyana and Venezuela last Thursday. Both of them, the statement said, emphasised the excellent bilateral relations that currently exist between the two states.

It added that in recalling the progress made under the Good Offices process in the recent past, the ministers welcomed the personal representative’s initiative to “suggest a series of further steps to address the border controversy. These steps could include a schedule of meetings to move the process forward over the coming months.”

Girvan, according to the statement, noted with appreciation the expression of confidence by both ministers in the Good Offices process under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General and  he is looking forward to providing the ministers with suggestions in the coming weeks, and discussing them with each of them in the near future.

Last week, the Teknik Perdana and its 36-member-crew were released although charges were laid against its captain, Ukrainian Igor Bekirov, by Venezuelan’s Attorney General’s Office for violating Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone.

More in Local News

Sir Garry Sobers (middle) poses with captains of the respective teams, Brian Lara (left) and Carl Hooper prior to the start of the game.

Stars converge to celebrate Sir Garry

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – A galaxy of former West Indies stars converged on Kensington Oval for a celebrity game here Thursday night, to mark the 80th birthday of cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers.

default placeholder

Power outage after excavator causes trees to fall at Ithaca

An excavator being operated by the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) came into contact with trees within close proximity of GPL’s transmission and distribution system at Ithaca causing some trees to fall onto the Network.

default placeholder

Twenty communities identified for anti-crime measures under IDB programme

Twenty communities in five regions of the country and including large parts of the capital city have been identified for anti-crime measures under an IDB-funded programme.

Obina Hendricks

Man sought over drug trafficking at airport

Obina Hendricks ‘aka Hiney’ is wanted by the police for questioning in relation to ‘Trafficking in Narcotics’ on July 11, 2016, at the Eugene Correia International Airport, Ogle, the police say.

Carlton Chaitram, Tameshwar Jagmohan and Jairam Chaitram, 17, being escorted out of the Mibicuri Police Station.

Cops to charge trio over Black Bush murders

Police are preparing to charge a farmer, his teenaged son and an employee with last week’s  brutal Black Bush triple murder.

default placeholder

Over 100 passport applications received from NY weekly

Over 100 passport applications are being received from New York alone on a weekly basis and this has placed pressure on the Central Immigration and Passport Office, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix says.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: