St. Vincent PM Gonsalves Advocates for Reduced Tensions Amid HMS Trent’s Deployment Near Guyana

PM Gonsalves, acts as an interlocutor between both countries in the territorial dispute

St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves voiced his hope for reduced tensions in response to Venezuela’s concerns over the British naval vessel HMS Trent’s presence near Guyana. Venezuela views this as a provocative act, particularly in conjunction with activities by the US Southern Command.

The UK Ministry of Defence explained that the HMS Trent’s visit to Guyana is part of its regional engagements during its Atlantic patrol task deployment. Gonsalves clarified on state radio that the vessel’s deployment in Guyanese waters is at Guyana’s invitation and emphasized its limited military capacity, mainly assisting in drug interdiction, human trafficking, search and rescue.

Gonsalves, acting as an interlocutor, has communicated with both the presidents of Guyana and Venezuela, ensuring a commitment to peace and ongoing dialogue. He expressed optimism for a reduction in activities that could be interpreted as provocative or threatening.

The importance of these diplomatic efforts was underscored by the historic meeting on December 14, 2023, at Argyle International Airport. During this meeting, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali signed an 11-point peace declaration aimed at easing tensions over the Essequibo border controversy. Gonsalves hopes that this spirit of dialogue and cooperation will continue to prevail.

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