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https://www.state.gov/secretar...efore-their-meeting/

July 25 ,2022

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. Mr. President, it’s a pleasure to have you here at the State Department in the United States. To our colleagues, I’m especially pleased to be able to meet today with the president of Guyana.

We’ve come off a very important and good Summit of the Americas, particularly as well our meetings with the CARICOM countries. Guyana has been a very strong partner for the United States and also in many ways a global leader. We’re working together in our region and beyond to try to find solutions to urgent challenges, to include climate, to include food security, energy security. We’re working on issues together, and I think coming out of the Summit of the Americas in particular there is a lot more energy in those efforts, including some things that we’re working on very actively right now that I know we’ll be sharing in the weeks ahead.

I would note that, quite remarkably, I think something like 86 percent of Guyana is forest. It’s a remarkable contributor in that way alone to the challenges that we face with climate change, but the United States is very eager to continue to deepen and strengthen the partnership that we have on all of these issues and more. Georgetown is also the seat, of course, of CARICOM, and this for us is a very important and vital institution, one which – with which President Biden, Vice President Harris had, I think, a very significant and important engagement at the Summit of the Americas.

So I look forward to continuing the conversations that we all started there and to deepening the work that we’ve already begun between our countries. Welcome. It’s so good to have you here.

PRESIDENT ALI: Thank you very much, Secretary Blinken. First of all, allow me to express our gratitude for this meeting. We are very pleased to be here at a very important time in the development of Guyana as we seek to further strengthen our relationship with the United States, who we view as an important strategic partner.

We just came out of a very successful Summit of the Americas in which we identified some critical issues for CARICOM as a region – that is food security, energy security, financing, and the issue of climate change.

In all these areas Guyana is already providing leadership and we are committing ourselves to continue to provide that leadership. We are pursuing an energy path that seeks to balance our newfound natural resource of oil and gas, but we are not doing that at the detriment of our credentials on environment and climate change.

As you rightfully pointed out, our forests stores 19.5 kilotons of carbon. We are a net zero country. And we look forward to discussing how jointly we can continue to work on the issues of food security, climate, financing, working in the region in terms of debt crisis facing CARICOM, but more importantly, finding a balanced development strategy, and doing so staying true to the value system, principles that both of us believe so strongly in – that is democratic society where transparency, accountability, and strong governance support for the development of Guyana.

So I am very pleased to continue this conversation we started at the Summit of the Americas and to work with you on strengthening our partnership.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you very much.

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Strengthening Guyana’s Relationship With The United States

By Wazim Mowla

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. July 25, 2022: The United States is Guyana’s most important bilateral relationship. The United States remains a major power in the Western Hemisphere and holds significant influence worldwide.

It is this influence, the potential investment stemming from US companies, and the institutional knowledge and expertise that it houses that can help Guyana achieve its own national and regional ambitions. Courting and strengthening this relationship will therefore be vital for Guyana’s future, affording the country a powerful ally while providing a window that will allow it to exercise influence in US policy to the wider Caribbean when needed.

More so than in prior decades, Guyana is in a unique position in its relationship with the United States, commanding increased attention from the latter due to its emergence as an oil and gas producer. Guyana’s growing economic clout and its role as an emerging regional leader in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is augmenting its relationship with the United States. While the asymmetry between the two remains vast, Guyana is closing this gap. US policy to the Caribbean, or CARICOM specifically, must now account for Guyana, especially as the US lens for the region has shifted since President Joe Biden assumed office in 2021.

Recently, the United States has deemphasized traditional security concerns in the Caribbean, focusing instead on addressing climate change and energy security. And since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has seen the prices of foodstuff soar, food security has been added to this list. In each area, Guyana commands attention and simply, the United States cannot achieve its objectives in the region without sufficient participation from Guyana.

This is one reason for Guyana being the co-chair of the US-Caribbean joint committee on food security – an outcome from last month’s Summit of the Americas – recognizing the leading role the latter is playing in decreasing CARICOM’s high food import bill through its 25 by 25 plan. And regarding energy and climate change, Guyana’s longstanding protection of its forests and the future role the country will play to help anchor energy security for CARICOM members will make Guyana a key figure in US policy to the region for the foreseeable future.

However, a few challenges stand in Guyana’s path. Despite its unprecedented economic growth, Guyana remains a small factor in US foreign policy relative to other countries in the hemisphere and abroad. At the moment, political and economic crises pervade the Americas, where democratic backsliding is gaining steam and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated structural economic challenges. In many ways, Guyana’s political stability since 2020 – relative to its neighbors – and its burgeoning economy has worked against itself in trying to draw attention from US policymakers. Further, Guyana’s oil and gas position is ambivalent to current US foreign policy. President Biden and his administration has declared addressing climate change as a significant foreign policy position, effectively keeping Guyana at arm’s length.

Going local to strengthen Guyana’s relationship with the United States?

Despite some challenges, there are opportunities for Guyana to strengthen its relationship with the United States. The US-Guyana bilateral relationship is multidimensional, characterized by economic, political, security, and cultural ties, alongside a vibrant diaspora located in key cities in New York, Florida, California, and Texas. So, to capitalize and strengthen US-Guyana ties, the country should go local, working more often with the United States at the subnational level.

Doing so means putting less emphasis on relations with the US federal government and working closer with cities, specific states, companies, and educational institutions in the United States. At the federal level, bureaucracy can stifle policy implementation and imagination while periodic changes every four or eight years in the US executive branch, such as in the White House and Department of State, can drastically change policy initiatives, intention, objectives to Guyana and CARICOM. At local levels, US-Guyana ties could see more flexibility and create greater depth to the relationship.

First, Guyana can expand economic ties with cities and states in the United States, especially ones with high concentrations of diaspora members. As the economy grows, these cities can become new and stronger destinations for Guyanese products and services. These places, especially among diaspora members, can be the source markets to help jumpstart eco-tourism and ­– in line with President Ali’s diaspora initiative ­– continue to draw more investment and technical expertise to Guyana.

Second, institutions, such as the University of Guyana and new oil and gas institutes expected to come online soon, will find a greater diversity of potential partners to choose from, especially in non-traditional areas. Guyana can look across the United States to continue establishing partnerships in the oil and gas field, yes, but also in areas related to climate change, security cooperation, cultural exchanges, and financial services, among others.

Finally, going local can help Guyana ensure there is more continuity and longevity to policy initiatives from the United States by establishing stronger ties with the US Congress. Some members remain in power for decades, building more influence among their colleagues with each passing year, which also means that the frequent policy changes that might occur in federal government does not always apply in the legislature. Working with these members of Congress and different committees related to foreign policy, financial services, and energy are also good opportunities for Guyana to raise issues of national interest that find difficulty reaching the senior policy officials.

Strengthening relations with the United States will be critical to Guyana’s development and its interests for the short and long-term. One way to do so is by going local to deepen US-Guyanese ties in areas of the economy, education, and politics, creating greater resilience in a relationship that is likely to be Guyana’s most important in the decades to come.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wazim Mowla, is a Guyanese American, the assistant director of the Caribbean Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, and a non-resident scholar at Florida International University’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy.

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Pres. Ali holds talks with US Secretary of State

Jul 26, 2022 News -- Source -- https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...-secretary-of-state/

President Irfaan Ali accompanied by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and other officials on Monday met with United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and other top US officials in Washington

Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali on Monday held talks with United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and other top US officials on a range of issues.

Up to the time of this newspaper going to press there was no official statement on the out come of the meeting by the Government of Guyana. On Sunday the Department of Public Information (DPI) had said that Ali and a delegation including the Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo; Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd and Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, departed for Washington for a series of high-level engagements. According to DPI at the invitation of the US Government, the delegation will meet with high-ranking US Government officials, including the Secretary of State and leaders of Congress and the Senate, to discuss a range of issues to further deepen bilateral relations between Guyana and the United States.

President Ali will also be a guest speaker at several events hosted by the Atlantic Council and will meet with US business leaders, the DPI said. He has also been invited to speak at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Council of the Americas roundtable, among other events. The President and his delegation are also expected to meet with Guyanese living in Washington.

Meanwhile, also on Monday President Ali and his delegation met US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Don Graves in Washington DC. According to a release by the Office of the President, Deputy Secretary Graves committed support to the Government of Guyana in the areas of banking, finance, and tourism as well as US private sector investment into Guyana. President Ali has committed to working closely with the Department of Commerce and other US agencies to facilitate US private sector investment in Guyana. Both parties agreed to work closely to advance this agenda.

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US Secretary of State lauds Guyana’s leadership

https://i0.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/FB_IMG_1658856253563.jpg?fit=1024%2C684&ssl=1

Dr Irfaan Ali said that Guyana welcomes the opportunity to further strengthen its relationship with the United States as a strategic partner, particularly during its period of growth.

The Head of State, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington DC, on Monday, highlighted the countries shared values and their quests to strengthen the region.

https://i0.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/295591057_374197884838465_4419605574729818049_n.jpg?resize=696%2C463&ssl=1

President Dr Irfaan Ali meeting with United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken in Washington DC on Monday

“We look forward to discussing how jointly we can continue to work on the issues of food security, climate, financing, working in the region in terms of debt crisis facing CARICOM, but more importantly, finding a balanced development strategy, and in doing so, staying true to the value system, principles that both of us believe so strongly in—that is a democratic society where transparency, accountability, and strong governance support for the development of Guyana.”

The President noted that the discussions this week are a continuation of the dialogue between the two countries, which was initiated during June’s Ninth Summit of the Americas,  in which critical issues for CARICOM as a region were identified, which includes food security, energy security, financing, and the issue of climate change.

He reminded that Guyana is already providing leadership, including on issues of the environment, while pursuing the country’s development agenda.

“We are pursuing an energy path that seeks to balance our newfound natural resource of oil and gas, but we are not doing that at the detriment of our credentials on environment and climate change. As you rightfully pointed out, our forests stores 19.5 kilotons of carbon. We are a net zero country…”

GUYANA IS A STRATEGIC PARTNER

In his remarks, the US Secretary of State said that Guyana has been a very strong partner for the United States and is in many ways a global leader. The two countries, he added, will continue to advance discussions and collaboration in areas for cooperation.

“We’re working together in our region and beyond to try to find solutions to urgent challenges, to include climate, to include food security, energy security. We’re working on issues together, and I think coming out of the Summit of the Americas in particular, there is a lot more energy in those efforts, including some things that we’re working on very actively right now that I know we’ll be sharing in the weeks ahead.”

The United States, he emphasised, is “very eager to continue to deepen and strengthen the partnership,” which will also redound to the benefit of the region given the fact that Georgetown, the country’s capital, is also the seat of CARICOM.

“This for us is a very important and vital institution, one with which President Biden, Vice President Harris had, I think, a very significant and important engagement at the Summit of the Americas. So I look forward to continuing the conversations that we all started there and to deepening the work that we’ve already begun between our countries.”

President Ali was accompanied by Vice President, the Honourable Dr Bharrat Jagdeo; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Honourable Hugh Todd; Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud and Ambassador of Guyana to the United States of America, H.E Samuel Hinds.

US Ambassador to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, H.E Sarah-Ann Lynch and other US government representatives also attended the meeting. (Office of the President)

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