Guyana, Suriname to approach IDB on Corentyne bridge financing

-advance border security efforts

Guyana and Suriname yesterday agreed to a joint approach to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to discuss financing for the proposed bridge across the Corentyne River.

A communiqué issued following a visit by President Donald Ramotar to the neighbouring country at the invitation of its President Desi Bouterse said that both leaders stressed the importance of the construction of the bridge.

They noted that it would enhance trade and economic relations as well as cultural exchanges between the peoples of the two countries. “They decided on a joint approach towards the IDB for the purpose of identifying modalities for financing,” the communiqué said.

Meanwhile, the problems of cross-border crimes were also raised during the engagement and the communiqué said that both leaders noted the serious threat posed to their national security. As a result, they agreed to fully implement the recommendations made by their respective security institutions during the First Presidential Security and Intelligence Exchange Meeting between Suriname and Guyana, held last April in Guyana. The second round of consultations is scheduled to be convened in Paramaribo in March 2012 and the two leaders agreed to establish a “Border Security Committee” as a direct mechanism for information sharing and monitoring, so as to deal with this matter in all its aspects.

“In view of recent robberies at sea the two Presidents pledged to continue to work collaboratively to address this phenomenon which is posing a challenge for the fishing industries of both countries. They instructed their institutions dealing with fisheries to adopt measures regarding security requirements for fishing vessels and fishermen,” the communiqué added.

The communiqué also addressed food security and climate change, among other issues.

During the working visit, Ramotar was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Guyana’s Ambassador to Suriname Merlin Udho, Ambassador-designate to Suriname Keith George, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud and army Lieutenant Colonel Omar Khan.

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