Upon ending his stay in the country, the PT member criticized armed conflicts around the world; Guyana and Venezuela experience tension over Essequibo

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) called for peace in South America alongside the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, after a bilateral meeting held this Thursday (29.Feb.2024). Without mentioning the tension between Guyanese and Venezuelans over the dispute over the Essequibo region, the PT member criticized armed conflicts around the world and said that the South American continent must remain a peaceful zone on the planet.

“Our integration with Guyana is part of Brazil’s strategy of helping not only with development, but working intensely so that we can maintain South America as a zone of peace on planet Earth. In other words, we don’t need war”he stated.

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Lula arrived in Guyana on Wednesday (Feb 28), where he participated in the 46th Caricom (Caribbean Community) Heads of State Conference, where he spoke with leaders about food security and climate change.

After the meeting with Ali, the president was questioned by journalists about Essequibo. He, however, denied that the matter was discussed at the meeting.

“See, we have not discussed the Essequibo issue. We don’t argue. Why don’t we discuss? Because this is not the time to discuss, it was a bilateral meeting to discuss development, discuss investment. But President Irfaan knows, as the President knows [Nicolás] Maduro [presidente da Venezuela], that Brazil is willing to talk to them whenever necessary, whenever necessary. Because we want to convince people that it is possible, through a lot of dialogue, for us to maintain peace.”he declared.

The president also said that he will not address the conflict in the conversation he will have with Maduro on Friday (1st March 2024) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where he will participate in the summit of presidents of Celac (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). ”

“I cannot, just as I will not discuss this issue with President Maduro, because that is not what the meeting is for. I’m going to discuss Celac, I’m going to meet Maduro there. I don’t need to argue. Whenever they want to schedule a meeting, Brazil will be fully available to participate”these.

Lula denied that, by not addressing the issue with other presidents, he was trying to make it forgotten in the public debate. She admitted, however, that a definitive solution could still take decades. “If it was not possible to solve this problem in 100 years, it may take us a few more decades. The only thing I know for sure is that violence will not solve this problem, it will create other problems.”these.

After Guyana, Lula went to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in the Caribbean, where he participated in the Celac (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) conference. It is there where Lula must address Guyana’s conflict with Venezuela more directly and meet with President Nicolás Maduro.

The president thanked the Prime Minister of the Caribbean country, Ralph Gonsalves, for mediating the conversation between the 2 countries and preventing tension from escalating. It was in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that a joint declaration was signed in which both committed to resolving the impasse without the use of force.

The dispute between the countries, which has lasted more than a century, is related to the Essequibo region (also called Guyana Essequiba). The site covers 160,000 km² and is part of the current territory of Guyana. The area represents 74% of the country’s area, is rich in oil and minerals and has an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean.

“I will personally thank President (sic) Ralph for being the coordinator of the talks between Guyana and Venezuela and I hope that we have a Celac meeting, productive, harmonious and that we all leave talking about peace, prosperity, in joy, in love and not in hate.”said Lula at the end of his speech.

Source: https://www.poder360.com.br/internacional/sem-citar-a-venezuela-lula-pede-paz-ao-lado-do-presidente-da-guiana/

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