Guyana – US relations strong and consistent, says foreign minister

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugh Todd (L) US Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung

By Felecia Valenzuela

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Hugh Todd says the relationship between Guyana and the United States of America is good, strong, peaceful and consistent.

This was reinforced recently at a virtual meeting held with US acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung.

“It was a very cordial exchange; we got into discussions of mutual interests. It was really based on US foreign policy within the region, its foreign policy with Guyana, generally speaking. It spoke to continuity, having regard to the fact that this is a new administration and a transition of power and the values that are enshrined to the system continues to shine through. We continue to have good relations with the United States of America,” he said.

Minister Todd said even with a change in government, United States’ foreign relations remain unchanged with peaceful regions.

“The United States foreign policy in the region has been relatively consistent for many decades, and I don’t think one should have expected a shift. The United States is a very mature democracy, and they are very predictable with how they treat their foreign policy globally. They share the same values that most of the region share and those values and principles lend themselves to predictability and consistency. So, I find it kind of strange that people might have thought that there would have been some kind of shift in their foreign policy in treating with Guyana or Georgetown. That is not how it works, because we are working within a framework, and usually, it is the umbrella framework of democracy,” he said.

Minister Todd said the US is one of the most consistent democratic nations globally, and all agreements made with the Guyana government since August 2020 are being honoured. He referenced the Shiprider Agreement, which was initially signed in 2001 but was brought into effect during the official state visit of then US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, to Guyana in September when diplomatic notes were exchanged.

“Yes, they are being honoured. As far as the economic cooperation pact is concerned, we have established the working groups on either side, so we are advancing in that regard. The Shiprider Agreement, that is already enforced. This is something that was worked upon previously, the texts and everything was already hammered out; it was just the signing off of the agreement. When the former Secretary of State came to Guyana, that was already worked upon since in the early 2,000s, so when he came, and we signed off, it just gave effect to the Shiprider Agreement.”

Minister Todd said both countries continue to work together for the benefit of their citizens. He said recent conversations with the US have also ignited mutual interests in the area of the environment. The foreign minister’s virtual meeting with the assistant secretary was held on Tuesday.

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