French Ambassador discusses Venezuela’s aggression against Guyana with PM
…as France seeks to be a proactive partner with Guyana
Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips was told by French Ambassador to Guyana, Antoine Joly that France wants to be a proactive partner in Guyana’s overall development.
The non-resident diplomat and his delegation discussed Guyana’s Development Agenda and the increased cooperation between the two Governments. High on the programme was also a conversation on the aggression of Venezuela, which recently seized two Guyanese boats with fishermen in Guyana’s waters.
To this end, the Ambassador reiterated his support for Guyana, the Department of Public Information reported.
“We totally support the management of Guyana to solve the conflict on the border with Venezuela – that is to say, respect of the international law, the competency of the International Court of Justice and of course we regret the way that Venezuela took your boats and fishermen and I wanted to express my solidarity to the fishermen and their families and I’m hoping that they will be freed very quickly,” the Ambassador was quoted by DPI as saying.
The Ambassador first signalled the support of the French Government earlier this week during a meeting with the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Honourable Anil Nandlall, SC.
The meeting was the second between the Prime Minister and Ambassador Joly.
According to the PM, Friday’s follow-up was to discuss the progress that has been made from October 2020 to present, with the addition of the territorial controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.
“The Ambassador came to update me on the engagements he had and the progress that has been made so far after our last meeting; we spoke about Police cooperation, defence, trade, the health sector and private sector engagement – I think that we are moving in the right direction and I am very appreciative of that.”
The PM said that he was also heartened by the French position on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy and the outpouring of support Guyana has had from other nations.
“The OAS and many countries came out in support of Guyana’s position and we’re happy that the French has done the same.”
The Ambassador, who resides in Suriname, told the PM that his Government was interested in developing and improving economic cooperation in the Guiana Shield.
“I confirmed to the Prime Minister that we are interested in being partners for the bridge between Guyana and Suriname, not only in the building but in developing the vision and the need for infrastructure to link Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana. We have a lot to do together on the Guiana Shield and to improve our economic cooperation and we are working on that.”
The Ambassador added that he and his Government are impressed with the vision of the Guyanese Government.
“What I told the Prime Minister is that I really want to strengthen this relationship, we are impressed by the work done by the new Administration, and I would come back in March to strengthen things.”
The French delegation also consisted of French Defence Attaché to the Republic of Suriname and Guyana Lieutenant Colonel Philippe Lamouret, French Foreign Trade Advisor and Honourary Counsel of France in Guyana, Jean-Francois Gerin and several French entrepreneurs.