UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told President of Guyana David Granger that he will send a UN mission to his country, as well as to Venezuela, to help resolve the territorial dispute between the two nations.
"The Secretary-General stated his intent to dispatch UN Secretariat staffers to undertake a mission to both Guyana and Venezuela. He expressed his willingness to further discuss the issue with the Presidents of both countries on the basis of the mission's recommendations," the United Nations said in a statement released on Thursday, after Ban Ki-moon’s telephone conversation with Granger.
The border dispute centers on resource-rich land west of the Essequibo River that constitutes about two-thirds of Guyana – a former British colony in South America. The area is administered by Guyana but is claimed by Caracas.
In May, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil announced the discovery of a significant oil deposit in the coastal waters of the Essequibo region. After that, Guyana’s territorial dispute with Venezuela took a turn for the worse, as Maduro issued a decree asserting Venezuela’s sovereignty over the waters.
Guyana said the move was a violation of international law.