Officials from Venezuela and Guyana met at the United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss the territorial dispute over the Essequibo region.
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and his Guyanese counterpart Carl Greenidge held meetings where they expressed their views on issues of mutual interest and explored possible options for an agreement, said the Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs.
Dag Nylander, representative of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, facilitated the talks in accordance with the 1966 Geneva agreement.
The foreign ministers expressed their commitment to the process and reiterated that their governments will continue to actively participate with the United Nations to find a solution to the dispute.
Both parties agreed to meet again to continue talking under this framework and continue to explore options. The meetings were similar to those that took place in October.
Nylander was appointed last February by Guterres to try to solve the litigation over the Essequibo region.
Venezuela has claimed the region since 1821, the year it won independence from Spain. The country has always regarded the entire area west of the Essequibo river, which forms Essequibo’s eastern border, as its land. But in 1966, prior to the discovery of oil, Venezuela conceded and decided to postpone settlement of the disputed territory.
The Guyanese government, which currently administers the region, claims the oil-rich region for itself.
The territorial dispute intensified in 2015 after the U.S. company ExxonMobil discovered oil deposits in the waters of the contentious area.