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LatinNews Daily - 28 September 2020

Pompeo makes historic visits to Suriname and Guyana

Suriname, Guyana: On 17 September US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo travelled to Suriname and Guyana as part of a three-day whistle-stop tour of South America, which also took him to Brazil and Colombia. According to a US State Department press release, the purpose of Pompeo’s trip was to promote Washington’s commitment to defending democracy, combating coronavirus (Covid-19), and strengthening security against regional threats. In Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo, Pompeo - the first US Secretary of State to visit the country in four and a half decades - met Suriname’s new President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and his cabinet, to discuss increased bilateral co-operation and opportunities for partnerships in energy and security. A US State Department press release noted that Suriname has large offshore oil reserves, and Pompeo was due to meet local representatives of “US mining and oil companies that are part of this sector’s critical investment in Suriname’s prosperity and future growth”. Pompeo then went to Guyana - the first visit by a US Secretary of State since Guyana gained independence in 1966 - where he met newly-elected President Irfaan Ali and his cabinet, as well as Caribbean Community (Caricom) secretary-general Irwin LaRocque. According to the press release, Pompeo “reinforced the promise of a values-based US partnership, highlighting opportunities for more responsible and transparent private sector investment to increase prosperity for the people of Guyana, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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