Guyana 's Ambassador to Venezuela, Dr. Odeen Ishmael has reiterated that Venezuela's claim to more than two thirds of Guyana's national territory forms a serious threat to the development of Guyana, a release from Guyana's Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela said.
Speaking to an audience comprising more than 50 diplomats, lawyers, journalists, economists, physicians, educators, social and political scientists and the military at the Pedro Gaul Institute of Higher Diplomatic Studies in Caracas on Monday, Ishmael said Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez's declaration that his government would no longer raise objections to foreign investment invited by Guyana into the western Essequibo was regarded as a positive advance in the relations between Guyana and Venezuela.
The institute is the diplomatic training institution of the Venezuela Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Tracing the positive developments in relations that have occurred between Guyana and Venezuela in the past year and dealing with some of the follow-up actions resulting from Chavez's visit to Guyana earlier this year, Ishmael said he believes that "it was necessary for us to remove the psychological barriers which have been nurtured by the territorial controversy. This will enable all the initiatives for integration and co-operation which will surely help to bring about better economic and social development for the citizens of our countries." He reiterated, too, that Guyana was determined to resolve the border issue within the framework of international law. Citizens must be kept informed on crucial national issues such as border negotiations, and that in such negotiations, diplomacy must become more forthright and agile, he said.