Guyana Vows Peace Amid Venezuela’s Alarm Over UK Warship Visit

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President of Guyana Dr. Irfaan Ali

President Dr. Irfaan Ali of Guyana has underscored his nation’s commitment to peaceful relations with its neighbors in light of Venezuela’s concerns about the upcoming visit of the British offshore patrol vessel, HMS Trent. In a statement released on his official Facebook page, President Ali emphasized that Guyana harbors no aggressive intentions and that its activities within its sovereign territory and waters should not be a cause for alarm for Venezuela or any other state.

President Ali highlighted Guyana’s dedication to promoting peace and national development through partnerships with both regional and international states. These collaborations are designed to enhance internal security and are not aimed at posing threats or acting aggressively against any nation.

The deployment of HMS Trent to the Caribbean, primarily for drug interdiction missions, is part of a larger UK effort to show diplomatic support for Guyana. The ship’s activities in the region will include joint operations with Guyana and Commonwealth partner nations, aiming to address various challenges such as piracy, smuggling, fisheries protection, counterterrorism, humanitarian aid, and search-and-rescue operations.

Guyana faces significant challenges with illegal fishing and piracy in its waters. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that illegal fishing activities result in substantial economic losses annually. In 2021 alone, there were 19,000 vessel-days of foreign-flagged fishing boats recorded in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The country has been actively working to combat these issues, and the collaboration with the UK, including the HMS Trent’s visit, is expected to bolster these efforts.

President Ali concluded his statement by expressing goodwill towards the people of Venezuela, reinforcing the importance of maintaining positive and cooperative relations with neighboring countries. This military exercise with the UK is seen as a step towards strengthening Guyana’s capability to tackle issues like illegal fishing and piracy, while maintaining its commitment to peaceful regional relations.

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