Guyana seeking to move closer to Latin America - President

Stabroek News
September 10, 1999

President Bharrat Jagdeo says that Guyana is seeking to move closer to Latin America and stated that the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Guyana and the South American trading bloc Mercosur was an important step towards continental partnership.

Speaking on the occasion of Brazil's 177th independence anniversary on Tuesday, President Jagdeo said: "We look forward to an era of fruitful collaboration with Brazil based on several initiatives taken at the bilateral level. We also expect to work closely with Brazil within the context of multilateralism based on our shared values on a number of areas of interest to developing countries."

Saluting Brazil's achievements over the years, Mr Jagdeo noted that the neighbouring country had assumed the role as a regional and global leader.

He said this recognition is evident in Brazil's high profile within the Rio Group, Mercosur (Common Market of the Southern Cone), the Latin American Economic System, the Organisation of American States, and the United Nations.

Guyana's membership in these bodies has provided the country with opportunities to work together with other states as they seek solutions to problems of drug trafficking, poverty and environmental degradation, the President stated.

He urged the strengthening of the capacities of the countries and the forging of regional integration to deal with the demands of an increasingly interdependent global community.

Mr Jagdeo noted that there is a lot of enthusiasm among Guyanese businessmen over expanding trading links with Brazil, especially with the state of Roraima.

"The intensity in the recent bilateral exchange visits must be encouraged and supported," he said.

"In recognition that the improvement of trade relations is conditioned by effective communication linkages, my government will work closely with the Brazilian government to improve transportation and to realise the necessary infrastructure, especially road and air linkages."

He expressed appreciation for the assistance extended by the Brazilian government in the areas of technical, military, and trade and economic cooperation.

He stressed that, like Brazil, Guyana was committed to the sustainable development of its natural resources and valued the collaboration between the two countries within the Treaty of Amazonian Cooperation.

Mr Jagdeo urged the deepening of relations between the two countries for the mutual benefit of its peoples.

Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana, Claudio Lyra, said Brazil looked forward to constructive relations with its neighbours under the fundamental spirit of cooperation.

"Brazil highly regards the practices of dialogue, understanding and cooperation, as well as the observance of principles such as mutual respect, non-intervention and self determination in the conduct of foreign policy," the ambassador said. "By the same token, we are a people deeply aware of the fundamental importance of the use of peaceful means in solving disputes in international relations", he added.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples