Carl Greenidge to be retained by PPP until Guyana/Venezuela border case concludes

Carl Greenidge

NEWS ROOM Guyana – August 9, 2020

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge will be retained by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government as Guyana’s agent in the ongoing border case with Venezuela at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd told the media Sunday at State House that Mr Greenidge “is on the team, he is still on the team and he will be to the conclusion of this matter.”

According to Minister Todd, he was already briefed by Mr Greenidge  “on the current position.”         

‘He [Mr Greenidge] is still integrally involved, we’re very happy to have his service and he is very committed to the process.”

The Foreign Minister reiterated sentiments expressed by leaders of both sides of the political divide that the border case is not a political issue. He noted that Mr Greenidge recognises this and “he is very accommodating to us.”

Todd said the ICJ is expected to meet again in September when the matter will continue.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd [Photo: Keno George]

He clarified that Mr Greenidge is not being retained in his capacity as Foreign Secretary which was the position he served over the past year under the previous APNU+AFC administration.

Asked if the Coalition member will be offered a job beyond the border case, Todd said “that is not necessary now, what is necessary now is his commitment to the process and moving forward, I won’t be able to say.

“That depends on the former Minister himself and his discussions with President [Dr. Irfaan] Ali,” he added.

Mr Greenidge served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 2015 to July 2018 until he, three other Coalition Ministers and members of the PPP resigned from the National Assembly over their dual citizenship status.

However, during his tenure, Mr Greenidge filed the case at the ICJ to settle the territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela in which the Spanish-speaking country is claiming 70% of this country’s territory.

The case was first heard in June 2020 where arguments were led by Guyana’s first Attorney General Sir Shridath Ramphal.

Guyana’s official and representative delegation, which joined in from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana were: Guyana’s agent and co-agent, Foreign Secretary Carl Greenidge and Ambassador Audrey Waddell; opposition representative Gail Teixeira; former Foreign Minister Rashleigh Jackson, and Ambassadors Elizabeth Harper and Cedric Joseph.

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  • brandli62  On 08/10/2020 at 4:49 am

    This appears to be a sensible decision. Retaining the team representing Guyana’s case at the ICJ against Venezuela makes sense and should not be subject to party politics. The team should represent the best people that can support Guyana’s position with regard to Venezuela territorial claims. I wish the team lots of success as a settlement of the issue of vital for the future of Guyana.

    The previous ICJ ruling regarding the border to Suriname laid the foundation for a settlement with Suriname about their maritime borders. This was an important preconditions to allow foreign investment into oil exploration to the benefit of both nations. Justified by precedence going back to colonial times, the ICJ awarded the entire Correntyne river to Suriname. While legally sound, it is unpractical in many ways for Guyana that the border is not in the middle of the river as is the case almost every where in the world. An example of this absurdity was demonstrated recently, when Suriname closed the river for all foreign navigation. This cut off the Amerindian communities along the Correntyne river from their only route to reach the coast. The new government in Georgetown should seek for negotiations with Suriname to find a solution that would move sovereignity to the middle of the Correntyne river without touching or affecting the maritime border settlement in the past. In return, Guyana could offer to pay for bridge crossing the Correntyne river and linking the two nations.

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