US throws weight behind Guyana in territorial dispute with Venezuela

The United States says it is fully backing Guyana against Venezuela’s threat to annex its oil-rich western territory as tensions soar over their border dispute.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s position that Guyana has full sovereignty over its 159,500sq km (61,600sq-mile) Essequibo region, in a call with Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali late on Wednesday.

During the call, Blinken also urged for a peaceful resolution to the crisis, the US State Department said.

Venezuelans on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to annex oil-rich Essequibo, which their government claims forms a natural part of Venezuelan territory and was unfairly delegated to Guyana more than a century ago.

Read more: Al Jazeera