The United States will carry out military exercises in Guyana amid tensions with Venezuela over the Essequibo area

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller explained that Secretary Antony Blinken spoke with the Guyanese president.

The United States Embassy in Guyana reported that in collaboration with that country's Defense Force (GDF), the Southern Command is carrying out flight operations in the country this Thursday. The information was released only hours after the Guyanese authorities warned that a helicopter had gone missing with members of its armed forces near the border of Venezuela.

The situation arises amid tensions between Guyana and Venezuela due to the Essequibo territorial dispute.

"In collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) will conduct flight operations within Guyana on December 7. This exercise builds upon routine engagement and operations to enhance security partnership between the United States and Guyana, and to strengthen regional cooperation," the embassy said in a statement.

"We look forward to continuing our strong partnership" with Guyana

Meanwhile, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller explained that Secretary Antony Blinken spoke with the president of Guyana about both countries' partnership. 

"Today Secretary Blinken spoke with President Mohamed Irfaa about our support for Guyana's sovereignty and our robust security and economic cooperation. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership once Guyana joins the Security Council in 2024," Miller wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

The operations were announced just hours after the Guyana Armed Forces revealed that a helicopter disappeared in Arau (in the Paracaima Mountains that borders Venezuela). "The aircraft transmitted an Emergeney Locator Transmitter signal at 11:20 hours, from coordinates approximately 30 miles east of Arau on our western border," the armed forces explained in a statement.

The authorities explained that the search will continue. "The helicopter departed Base Camp Ayanganna at 09:23 hours today for Arau, carrying three (3) crew
members and four (4) passengers."


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