Newly accredited US ambassador Perry Holloway today said that the Guyana/Venezuela boundary as settled by the 1899 arbitral award should be respected, even as he stressed that peaceful means consistent with international law should be used to settle the ongoing controversy.
“We call on all parties to continue to respect the 1899 arbitral ruling and boundary unless or until a competent legal body decides otherwise or both parties agree on something else,” he said at a press conference in response a question on US’ position on the award.
Holloway reminded reporters of that the land boundary was decided by an arbitral award in 1899 and duly implemented by both parties. Subsequently, Venezuela stated its intention to challenge the validity of that award.
He reiterated that the ongoing controversy should be settled through peaceful means and consistent with international law.
“All parties should avoid any actions that could complicate the ongoing efforts to reach a diplomatic solution,” he said adding that the US government is pleased that the two presidents recently met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and urged that they continue the dialogue.
Tensions began escalating earlier this year after Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro issued a decree laying claim to a vast section of Guyana’s maritime territory inclusive of an area where a significant amount of oil had been found.
About two weeks ago there was a noticeable buildup of troops near the Guyana/Venezuela border and armed boats in the Cuyuni River which falls within Guyana’s territory. Guyana raised objections and following the UN meeting Venezuela agreed to withdraw its troops. The Guyana government has signaled its intention to pursue a judicial settlement in this matter.