SAN JUAN – President David Granger is looking to reaffirm Guyana’s sovereignty over the contested Essequibo region, claimed by Venezuela, and gain support of his fellow Commonwealth heads of government during their Nov. 27-29 meeting in Malta.
“We have always been able to enjoy the support of the Commonwealth and we will continue to work with our partners in the Commonwealth to ensure that their support continues undiminished and that we send a message to aggressor states, in this case Venezuela, that we are not alone,” Granger said Wednesday.
The Commonwealth leaders are set to consider and ratify a declaration in support of Guyana’s stance on the Essequibo issue, according to the Guyanese government.
“This type of declaration indicates that there is an intolerance in the world at large for settling conflicts by violent means (and) that there is a desire of countries to get ahead with their economic development,” the president said.
Guyana reached out to the Commonwealth in May after Venezuela sought to establish an exclusive economic zone in coastal waters of the contested Essequibo region.
The long-simmering territorial dispute took on new urgency on May 20, when a subsidiary of U.S.-based ExxonMobil announced the discovery of significant oil reserves in the waters off Essequibo.