Series of further steps to be suggested on border controversy by Girvan

A series of further steps on addressing the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela is to be proposed by Norman Girvan who is the personal representative of the UN Secretary General in the Good Offices process.

A statement from the United Nations today said that on 17 October 2013, Girvan, had what has been described as “very  productive separate meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Venezuela” in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministers emphasized the excellent bilateral ties that currently exist between the two States, the statement said.

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.”

The statement said that the Personal Representative noted with appreciation the expression of confidence by both Ministers in the Good Offices process under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General. It added that he looks forward to providing the Ministers with suggestions in the coming weeks, and discussing them with each of them in the near future.

The meeting occurred on the same say that the Guyana and Venezuelan ministers met in Trinidad to address the seizure by Caracas of a vessel operating in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone. That act ratcheted up tensions between the two countries and disrupted the offshore search for oil  in that sector of Guyana’s waters.

It has been agreed that teams from the two countries will meet next year to begin maritime delimitation talks.

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