Georgetown, Guyana – (February 9, 2018) President David Granger, today, conferred the country’s third highest national award, the Cacique’s Crown of Honour (CCH) on Brazilian Minister of Defence, Mr. Raul Belens Jungmann Pinto, who was in Guyana today for bilateral talks between the two countries. The Guyanese Head of State said that the conferral of the award represents Guyana’s gratitude not only to the Minister for his personal diligence in the strengthening of ties between the two countries but his nation’s show of commitment to the preservation of South America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, the promotion of respect for international law and the inviolability of treaties, international peace-keeping, humanitarian and disaster relief and the consolidation of defence cooperation with Guyana.

The Brazilian Minister of Defence, who led the high-level delegation, which also included Brazil’s Minister of Justice, Mr. Torquato Lorena Jardim, praised the level of friendship and cooperation between the two countries over the past 50 years, noting that the relationship between the two South American states has been characterised by peace, respect for territorial integrity and mutual interests.

In his address to members of the delegation and other special invitees, at the Investiture Ceremony, which was held at the Baridi Benab, President Granger said that the state visit is an auspicious beginning to the observance of the 50th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two republics.

“The visit, coming a few weeks after my state visit to Brazil, signifies the continuation of the cooperation, which our countries have cherished since the establishment of diplomatic relations on December 18, 1968. It is said that in international diplomacy you can choose your friends but not your neighbours. Guyana is proud to have a neighbour such as Brazil which is also a friend. The friendship between Guyana and Brazil is founded on international principles of mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, cooperation for mutual benefit, respect for treaties, the inviolability of borders and international law and the maintenance of international peace and security,” he said.

The conferral of the CCH, President Granger said, symbolises Guyana’s high regard for Minister Jungmann and the acknowledgement of the defence cooperation, which has existed between Guyana and Brazil for nearly 50 years.

“I recall the training of defence personnel in Brazilian military academies and schools, the presence in Brazilian Army instructors in Guyana’s military schools, the collaboration of the BEC [Brazilian Engineering Corps] and the digging of wells in our southernmost region, the engagement in information-sharing meetings and the visits by high-ranking military and naval officers and by naval patrol vessels. Guyana looks forward to the intensification of defence cooperation with Brazil – cooperation, which is essential to preventing and interdicting transnational threats such as trafficking in persons, trafficking in narcotics, trafficking in illegal weapons, transnational terrorism, the spread of contagious diseases and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and natural hazards,” he said.

The Head of State also noted that the preservation of South America as a ‘zone of peace’ is essential to Guyana’s existence. Brazil, he said, has remained resolute in its commitment to peace on the continent and Guyana is grateful for Brazil’s consistent and unwavering support, over the past 50 years, for the peaceful settlement of the territorial controversy with Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Minister Jungmann, in his remarks, through a translator, said that the friendship between the two countries has been a construction of peace, stability and cooperation between the two peoples. During the 50 years of friendship, Minister Jungmann said that Guyana and Brazil can boast of a strong relationship, which has never been subjected to aggression or a disturbance of peace.

“Destiny has made this… half a century of relations between two countries… That is 50 years of peace, friendship and respect between countries and between our people. For Brazil, Mr. President a century and a half we have now been able to live without any conflict, without any use of force between us and our neighbours in South America. Brazil, Your Excellency…always has the principle of diplomacy, respect for sovereignty and independence and no hindrance in any country… This is the message that we bring from the people of Brazil to here,” he said.

Minister Jungmann said that with the level of friendship between the two countries, there is much that can be achieved. “Brazil wants strong neighbours. Brazil wants democratic countries… and justice… Brazil will be responsible within the limits of our ability…where necessary, a word of consolation, a word of reasoning, a word of compromise… It’s not by accident we’re here today. I will take this day always in my memory, the memory of this special day, this day of peace and… and pray that it would be like this always…,” the Brazilian Minister said.

President Granger, in March 2016, conferred Brazil’s Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira with the insignia of the Order of Roraima, Guyana’s second highest National Award. President Granger said that the conferral of this award had been in recognition of Minister Vieira’s decades of outstanding service in the Foreign Service of Brazil and successful career in diplomacy, much of which saw him working for the betterment of the people of the hemisphere.

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