President says he is following the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo region with ‘growing concern’ edit
247 – At the opening of the Mercosur Heads of State meeting this Thursday (7th) in Rio de Janeiro, President Lula (PT) spoke again about the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the territory of Essequibo. Venezuela has historically claimed the region, and last Sunday held a referendum in which about 95% of its population supported the annexation of that area to Venezuelan territory.
Lula mentioned a ‘growing concern’ about the issue and said that Mercosur cannot be ‘indifferent’ to the discussion. He also stated that Brazil is willing to host talks between the parties involved. ‘An important issue that we have to discuss is the Essequibo question. Mercosur cannot be indifferent to the topic. I suggest that the fellow president of Celac in turn can address the issue with both sides: Guyana and Venezuela. Brazil is available to host as many negotiation meetings as necessary. We do not want and do not need more war, especially in our continent. We have to build peace to improve people’s lives.’
The president also stated that he will submit to the countries of Mercosur a draft declaration on the subject.
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