Guyana/Suriname joint exploration still being examined

Guyana Chronicle
January 24, 2003

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MODALITIES for joint exploration of hydrocarbon resources in the area of overlap on the Guyana/Suriname border are still on the front burner.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Rudy Insanally, at a news conference yesterday said the two sides are at the stage where specifics are being examined.

A sub-committee has been established to look at possible modalities that could lead to joint exploration.

The sub-committee has met on at least two occasions and according to the Foreign Minister, these meetings have led to the discovery of a number of areas that need to be thoroughly examined. These include the scope of co-operation and information sharing.

Noting that while proposals put forward may appear simple, Insanally said the difficulty lies in the details.

"It is a complex area, with definition of lines and all sorts of intricate issues," the minister explained, referring to negotiating joint exploration in the area of overlap.

According to Insanally, the Border Commission is in constant consultation and the two Chairmen, Guyana's Ralph Ramkarran and Suriname's Luis Herrera Mercano are expected to meet shortly.

The outcome of this meeting should provide possible answers for future work, the minister said.

The decision to examine modalities that could eventually lead to a joint exploitation of the hydrocarbon resources in the border shared by Guyana and Suriname, was made during President Bharrat Jagdeo's visit to the neighbouring state in January last year.

Guyana and Suriname have established a Border Commission and a Co-operation Council to promote closer relations between the two countries.

Several areas including fisheries, agriculture, education and mining have been identified for future co-operation between the two countries.

President Jagdeo and Suriname President Ronaldo Venetiaan have reiterated their belief that the Guyana/Suriname border issue should be resolved in a spirit of understanding, co-operation and good neighbourliness.

The two leaders have endorsed all efforts to enhance co-operation in the area of trade, studies to attract investment, the establishment of joint ventures and linkages between the private sectors of both countries.

There is a significant Guyanese population living and working in Suriname and permission has already been granted by the Suriname Government for the establishment of a Guyanese mission at Nickerie, the closest town to the Corentyne River that separates Guyana from Suriname and where hundreds of Guyanese reside. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY - GINA)

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