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The leaders of Guyana and Venezuela are due to hold talks aimed at finding a solution to the long-standing tension between the two countries over a disputed territory.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who heads the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have brokered the talks.
The face-to-face meeting was proposed during phone conversations between both leaders and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Gonsalves announced that the meeting will take place on December 14th in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and invited Lula and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to attend the meeting.
Gonsalves said the meeting will center on the matters consequential upon the border controversy that exists between Guyana and Venezuela.
The discussion has been long-awaited as relations between the two countries have soured in recent months.
When asked about the possible outcome of the talks, Gonsalves said that he hopes for peace between the two nations that St Vincent and the Grenadines consider friends. He stressed the importance of dialogue as a means to resolve misunderstandings and prevent conflicts.
Gonsalves expressed his confidence that both leaders will hold calm, patient, mature, wise, and respectful talks to resolve the matter.
He also highlighted the significance of the commitment to international law, peace, and maintaining the region as a zone of peace. Gonsalves is optimistic that the leaders will find modalities to continue peaceful coexistence.
He noted that Guyana and Venezuela are neighbors and must find a way to live together peacefully.
Gonsalves is also hoping that the Organisation of American States (OAS) will shelve a debate scheduled for Monday on a resolution that could see further action taken against Venezuela.
He urged the region not to let anything derail the initial face-to-face dialogue or subsequent ones.
The talks represent a significant step towards resolving the long-standing tension between Guyana and Venezuela.