SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tpday expressed to his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro growing concern over a territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana, Brazil’s presidential palace said in a statement.
In a phone call from Maduro to Lula, the Brazilian president called for dialogue, stating that it was important to avoid unilateral measures that could escalate the situation.
Tensions between Venezuela and Guyana have been growing in the last few weeks over a long-running border dispute over Essequibo, an area in Guyana where massive discoveries of offshore oil and gas have been made.
Last weekend, voters in Venezuela rejected the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) jurisdiction over the area, backing the creation of a new state.
Lula also suggested that the pro tempore president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) — Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines — should address the issue.
Lula reiterated that Brazil is ready to support and follow dialog initiatives, reinforcing a joint declaration by South American countries that was released earlier this week.
The United States and Brazil are consulting each other on the border controversy between Venezuela and Guyana, the press office of the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia said.
“We reaffirm the United States’ unwavering support for Guyana’s sovereignty,” it said in a statement that said both governments want a peaceful resolution of the conflict.