PM reaffirms Guyana’s commitment to partnership with France
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Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips (right), with Non-Resident Ambassador of the French Republic to Guyana, Antoine Joly, at the reception in honour of the upcoming French National Day (Bastille Day) (Office of the Prime Minister photo)
Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips (right), with Non-Resident Ambassador of the French Republic to Guyana, Antoine Joly, at the reception in honour of the upcoming French National Day (Bastille Day) (Office of the Prime Minister photo)

PRIME Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips on Thursday reaffirmed the government’s commitment to a sustained relationship between Guyana and France during a meeting with Non-Resident Ambassador of the French Republic to Guyana, Antoine Joly.
The two officials met at a reception held at Cara Lodge in Georgetown in honour of the upcoming French National Day (Bastille Day), which is formally observed on July 14.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira were also present at the reception.

The Prime Minister, who hailed the relationship between the two countries, said that it is imperative that they both continue to embrace and develop their well-established relationship, through many shared areas of mutual interests.
“As we celebrate your country’s National Day, it is appropriate for Guyana and France to recommit to working together for the well-being and prosperity of our peoples,” Prime Minister Phillips said.
Guyana and France established diplomatic relations on June 22, 1967, and according to the prime minister, to sustain and expand the existing relationship, there are mutual plans for collaboration on sustainable development and clean renewable energy development. He said, too, that the two nations could collaborate in ICT, agriculture, mining, and hydro-power electricity.

The Prime Minister further related that he is also looking forward to increased cooperation in the area of security, saying:
“The recent signature of the Letter of Intent on cooperation in the field of defence will provide impetus for enhanced security cooperation.”
The French military only recently participated in Operation Tradewinds 2021, a multilateral military exercise hosted in Guyana last month. Ambassador Joly also spoke of partnerships, and pointed out that since France, through French Guiana, shares the Guiana Shield with Guyana, there are many areas of mutual interests.

“The wish of French Guiana to be more present and involved in the region will not be at the expense of your other strategic partners, but complementary, based on our comparative advantages. We are neighbours confronted with the same challenges; we share the Guiana Shield, and just like you, we value it, and want to protect it,” Ambassador Joly said.
According to the French Ambassador, he decided to cancel the French National Day celebrations in Guyana in 2019, after the previous administration had hesitated to acknowledge the ‘No-Confidence Motion’ against them, and subsequently in 2020, due to the difficulty of obtaining the results of the national elections. “This year, despite the COVID-19 situation, which explains the limited format, I’m happy to celebrate with you the return of Guyana in the rule of law and democracy, principles that join those of our national day of freedom, equality and brotherhood,” Ambassador Joly said.

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