France Urges Venezuela To Refrain From Unilateral Action In Guyana Border Controversy – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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France has called on Venezuela to refrain from any unilateral action in the longstanding border controversy with Guyana, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

A Ministry release said the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, spoke to Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, regarding the border issue.

According to the release, Colonna reiterated the importance of respect for Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The Minister also emphasized France’s commitment to peaceful dispute settlement, including recourse to the International Court of Justice.

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In this regard, Colonna recalled that France calls on the parties to fully implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decisions, notably the December 1, 2023 order.

The order called on Venezuela to maintain the status quo.

However, a Venezuela referendum went ahead with a vote to annex Guyana’s resource-rich Essequibo region, to which Venezuela lays claim.

The French Minister’s talks with Guyana’s President Ali occurred ahead of Thursday’s talks in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines between the Guyana leader and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

But, controversy over the agenda preceded the meeting.

Ali rejected claim in a letter from Maduro to Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves that the border controversy was on the table.

Ali has reiterated that Guyana’s land boundary is not up for discussion, as it is currently before the ICJ and, when adjudicated, will be fully respected by Guyana.

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