Georgetown, Guyana – (October 02, 2015) President David Granger said that the recent reports making the rounds on the media in relation to Suriname’s renewed interest in the New River Triangle is very opaque and requires clarification. This clarification will be sought in the coming days by Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge through Guyana’s envoy in the neighbouring Dutch State.
The President was at the time speaking at his first official engagement, with the local press corps, at the Ministry of the Presidency, since he assumed Office.
“We feel that this claim is spurious and we have taken measures in the past to protect our territorial integrity and we will continue to do so… I read the statement attributed to President Bouterse but as far as I am concerned that does not change the ‘price of rice’,” President Granger said.
The controversy between Guyana and Suriname is a historical one. The latter laid claims to part of Guyana sea space, which was addressed and essentially settled in Guyana’s favour by an international tribunal spearheaded by the United Nations.
President Granger explained however, that Suriname’s claim to the Corentyne River area remains a matter of contention since there has never been a treaty that clearly demarcated the boundary between the neighbouring countries.
Additionally, Suriname has also been claiming the New River Triangle area, which encompasses a mass of land that is larger than the size of Jamaica.
The President said that while this is a historical claim, this is neither the time nor the place to advance this matter. He explained that the eastern boundary where Guyana, Brazil and Suriname meet was clearly marked out since 1936. This he said is an indelible mark, since it is the international boundary not the New River Triangle.
“This is what we are going to stand by… you cannot convene a meeting of your parliament and change your boundary,” President Granger noted.
He affirmed that Guyana will continue to embrace a diplomatic course of action as it has been doing with Venezuela in relation to that country’s claim to Essequibo. He noted too, that Guyana will continue to pursue policies and actions that will ensure that the region remains a zone of peace.