Guyana has begun holding talks with Venezuela on properly integrating Venezuelan immigrants into the local society.
A government statement said Labor Minister, Joseph Hamilton held discussions with Venezuela’s Ambassador to Guyana, Carlos Amador Perez Silva, on the issue on Tuesday.
“As you know, there is plenty of Venezuelans here, immigrants and the idea is to work together with the Ministry of Labour in order to regularize the status of these people and let them have access to work legally in Guyana,” the Venezuelan diplomat said following the meeting.
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The UN Refugee Agency, (UNHCR) has reported that as of December 2020, there were over 22,000 Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Guyana. Venezuelan migrants have been seeking to build a life in many countries, including Guyana, since the onset of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela in the mid-2000s.
The diplomat, who was recently accredited to Georgetown, said he has been paying courtesy calls on members of the Guyana government.
“I feel happy for the Guyanese people, and my intention is to work very closely as much as we can with the government of Guyana, and to advance in the bilateral cooperation and solid relations we have enjoyed for many years,” said Silva, who had previously served for three years as first secretary to Guyana.
Guyana and Venezuela have a long-standing border dispute with Georgetown indicating in June that it had been informed that Caracas has objected to the decision of the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it has the right to hear and determine the country’s argument for a final settlement of their border dispute.
Last week, President Irfaan Ali has given the assurance that Guyana will continue to champion the peaceful resolution in the territorial controversy with neighboring Venezuela, as he addressed the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Guyana does not condone or support the threat of, or use of force in relations between states or in the resolution of disputes. Consistent with the Charter of the United Nations, Guyana subscribes to the use of peaceful means to settle disputes,” he stated.
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