Georgetown, Guyana – (June 14, 2019) President David Granger, yesterday, met General Paulo Sergio Nogueira De Oliveira of the Brazilian Army at the Ministry of the Presidency, where they discussed matters of mutual interest.
The Brazilian Army General was accompanied by Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Lineu Pupo de Paula and Brazilian Military Attaché to Guyana, Colonel Emerson Deni da Silva.
During the meeting, President Granger noted that Brazil and Guyana have enjoyed fertile relations and have shared strong and friendly ties for decades.
The Head of State said he welcomes efforts to strengthen relations between Guyana and Brazil particularly in the areas of defence, security, engineering and capacity building.
“I am happy to explore ways in which we can further cooperate with Brazil. As I have said before, you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your neighbours. However, you can be friends with your neighbours and we have no choice but to coexist and to do so peacefully. We have no interest in conflict or disorder in this hemisphere. Our policy is that the continent should be a zone of peace and Brazil is an important factor in maintaining this peace and stability,” President Granger said.
President Granger and General Nogueira De Oliveira discussed reviewing the 2012 Joint Communiqué between the two South American states with a view to strengthening same.
The President noted that there is a need for the Joint Communiqué to be reviewed to determine its applicability to present day circumstances.
He said the agreement should be reviewed to place some emphasis on a holistic rather than a piecemeal approach to cooperation.
To this end, General Nogueira De Oliveira committed to engage the Brazilian Minister of Defence to determine how the Joint Communique can be revisited and altered to reflect the changing circumstances.
Additionally, President Granger thanked the Government of Brazil and the Brazilian Army’s Sixth Battalion Engineering Corps (BEC), which drilled eight wells in the South Rupununi, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) in 2018 to reduce the effects of the El Nino (dry) season.
The project had followed President David Granger’s State visit to Brazil in December 2017, where the Complementary Agreement to the Basic Agreement on Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Federative Republic of Brazil for the implementation of the project technologies to reduce the effects of the drought in Region Nine was inked.
Guyana and Brazil’s military cooperation also encompasses the training of defence personnel in Brazilian military academies and schools and Brazilian army instructors in Guyana’s military schools.
He noted that defence cooperation with Brazil is essential to preventing and interdicting transnational threats such as trafficking in persons, trafficking in narcotics, trafficking in illegal weapons and transnational terrorism while noting that Guyana looks forward to intensifying its cooperation with Brazil in this regard.
Last year, President Granger conferred Guyana’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 for bilateral talks between the two countries.
At the Investiture Ceremony, the President said 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 conferral of the CCH on the Brazilian Defence Minister, the President said, symbolises Guyana’s regard for Minister Jungmann and the acknowledgement of the defence cooperation, which has existed between Guyana and Brazil for nearly 50 years, at the time.
Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Joseph Harmon and Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Patrick West also attended the meeting.
Guyana and Brazil established diplomatic relations on December 18, 1968.