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Foreign Ministry justifies decision to include border experts on Guyana’s team for World Court case against Venezuela

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by: Denis Chabrol

In the wake of a leaked letter by Guyana’s Agent for the border case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Carl Greenidge, the Foreign Affairs Ministry late Tuesday night sought to explain its decision to include two border experts in the process.

In a letter dated April 7, 2021, Mr Greenidge objected to the Head of the Frontiers Section, Donnette Streete and Guyana’s Ambassador to Suriname, Keith George being included in the team. “Whilst Ambassador George is not without skills, he is clearly not a lawyer and in combination with Ms  Streete cannot replace, as our external lawyers and the maritime expert,” Mr Greenidge told President Irfaan Ali.

But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs bemoaned the virtual exclusion of Ms Streete, who has 14 years of experience in the Frontiers Department, then Head of the Legal and Treaties Division Ms Trishala Persaud and Ambassador George who had served as Head of Frontiers and has racked up 21 years of experience in Guyana’s land and maritime boundaries. The Ministry wishes to state that the Hon. Minister Hugh Todd recognised that the local team
previously assembled under the APNU/AFC (A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change) administration did not include some key persons who have years of professional knowledge on the Guyana/Venezuela controversy,”  the ministry said.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry indicated that Ms Streete, Ambassador George and other persons have since been included in the process. “Several other persons with great knowledge of the boundaries of Guyana because of their background in the security services of Guyana were not invited to provide their inputs.  “They were each identified and invited by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to lend their support to this preeminent national effort and their involvement has the full support of His Excellency President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali,” the ministry added.

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