Guyana and Venezuela pledge to refrain from employing violence in acrimonious conflict regarding the oil abundant area.

One alternative reframed version of the text is as follows:
A commission consisting of the foreign ministers of Guyana and Venezuela, along with other officials, will address the issue at hand. It is expected that a report will be produced within a period of three months.
During a tense meeting, the leaders of Guyana and Venezuela made a commitment to abstain from using threats or force against each other. However, an agreement on how to resolve a bitter dispute over a large border region containing valuable oil and mineral resources could not be reached. Consequently, the aforementioned joint commission has been established to tackle the issue.
President Irfaan Ali of Guyana and President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela have agreed to meet again within the next three months, either in Brazil or at another mutually agreed time. This was stated in an 11-point declaration, which was read during a press briefing late on Thursday. The declaration did not permit any questions to be asked during the briefing.
The declaration also stipulates that both leaders pledge to refrain from any form of conflict escalation, whether through words or actions.
The dispute over the Essequibo border region has raised concerns about the potential for military conflict, although many believe this scenario is unlikely. Venezuela insists that Essequibo was part of its territory during the Spanish colonial period and asserts that a 1966 Geneva agreement between Venezuela, Britain, and the former British Guiana (now Guyana) nullifies the border delineation established in 1899 by international arbitrators.
The century-old dispute regained prominence with the recent discovery of oil in Guyana. Tensions escalated further when Venezuela reported that its citizens had voted in a December 3rd referendum to claim two-thirds of their smaller neighbor’s territory.
The lengthy meeting between the two leaders took place at the main international airport on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, with several Caribbean prime ministers in attendance.
The declaration acknowledged the deadlock between Ali and Maduro, with Guyana asserting that the border controversy should be resolved by the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands. Venezuela, on the other hand, does not agree with this and does not recognize either the court or its jurisdiction in the dispute.
Neither Ali nor Maduro spoke to journalists after the meeting.
Earlier in the day, the government of Guyana released a statement asserting that Essequibo is not open to discussion, negotiation, or deliberation. Ali reiterated this sentiment during a press conference held during a break in his talks with Maduro. He emphasized that all of the territory in question belongs to Guyana, pointing to a leather bracelet on his right wrist that displays the outline of the country. He emphasized that no narrative, propaganda, or decree can alter this fact.
Ali also made it clear that while Guyana is committed to maintaining peace in the region, it is not the aggressor in this situation. He stated that Guyana does not seek war, but reserves the right to collaborate with its partners to protect its own interests.
Prior to the meeting, Maduro expressed his intention to make the most of it, ensuring that Latin America and the Caribbean remain peaceful. The two presidents shook hands before the talks commenced, receiving applause from the leaders present.
John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, stated that officials from the Biden administration are closely monitoring the escalating tensions. He emphasized that they do not wish to see the situation escalate into violence and highlighted the ongoing engagement of diplomats.
Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines stated that this is not a situation for quick resolutions. He emphasized the significance of the leaders coming together to discuss the matter on neutral and friendly grounds, such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In response to the dispute, Venezuela’s president has ordered state-owned companies to explore and exploit the oil, gas, and mineral resources in the Essequibo region. Both sides have put their militaries on high alert.

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