United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, is slated to land in Guyana this evening, while embarking on a tour in South America aimed at highlighting his country’s commitment to safeguarding democracy,
combating the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,
revitalizing economies and strengthening security against Regional threats.
Pompeo will be the highest ranking sitting Government official to visit Guyana since it attained its Independence on May 26, 1966.
According to the US State Department, Pompeo’s tour of the Region is scheduled from September 17-20 during which he will travel to Paramaribo,
Suriname; Georgetown, Guyana; Boa Vista, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia and then
return to Plano, Texas, USA.
The US Secretary of State is slated to meet Suriname’s new President, Hon.
Chandrikapersad Santokhi, today (Thursday)before travelling to Guyana and will meet with Guyanese President, Irfaan Ali.
He will also hold talks with CARICOM Secretary-General, His
Excellency Irwin LaRocque.
According to the US Embassy in Georgetown, US policy towards Guyana seeks
to develop robust, sustainable democratic institutions, laws, and political
practices; support economic growth and development; promote an active,
organised, and empowered civil society; and promote stability and security.
During the visit to Guyana, bilateral
agreements between the countries are expected to be inked for future investments, as well as a deal for joint maritime
patrols to combat the illicit narcotics trade.
The US recognised Guyana’s independence on May 26, 1966, with the
establishment of the American Embassy in Georgetown. Mr. Delmar R. Carlson
was the interim Chargé d’Affaires. Later in the 1980s, Guyana sought to
improve relations with the US.
Together, the two countries have promoted democracy and
respect for human rights.
In terms of assistance, the two countries have worked together and with
other Caribbean nations through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative
(CBSI) to combat drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that
threaten regional security.
Both have also worked closely in the fight against HIV/AIDS through the
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme, as well as
through other US agencies, like the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Bilaterally and economically, the US continues to be one of Guyana’s most
significant trading partners, and its military, medical, and engineering
teams continue to conduct training exercises here.
Mr. Pompeo, a former US Army officer and former Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, is the 70th US Secretary of State.