O Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is trying to mediate the conflict, will be present “at the request” of both parties.

Presidents Nicolas Maduro and Irfaan Ali accepted “this meeting held under the auspices of CELAC”, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, of which the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, holds the rotating presidency,” and CARICOM”, the Caribbean Community, according to a statement from the head of government of the archipelago that will host the meeting.

“Let us all resolve to make this historic meeting a success”, concluded Ralph Gonsalves.

Caracas had already announced a “high-level” meeting, following talks today between Presidents Maduro and Lula.

Lula da Silva had advised, in a telephone conversation, his Venezuelan counterpart not to take “unilateral measures” that would worsen the border conflict between Venezuela and neighboring Guyana.

The President of Brazil, whose Government sent military reinforcements to its northern border, also reiterated the “growing concern” of other South American countries, which in a joint statement on Thursday night had invited “both parties to dialogue and seek a peaceful solution”.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro followed suit, saying on the X network (formerly Twitter) that “the greatest misfortune that could happen to South America would be a war.”

The discovery of vast oil deposits by the US company ExxonMobil in 2015 and Guyana’s bids for exploration in the area have revived the long-running dispute over Essequibo, a 160,000 square kilometer territory administered by Guyana but which Venezuela claims, arguing that the real border is the one that dates back to the Spanish empire in 1777.

The two countries have been exchanging accusations for several days and the UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Friday night, but there was no statement or communication at the end of the meeting.

Read Also: Essequibo? Lula da Silva advises Maduro not to take unilateral measures

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2458115/essequibo-presidentes-da-venezuela-e-da-guiana-reunem-se-quinta-feira

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