US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touched down in Guyana shortly after 5:00 pm (local time) on Thursday at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport where he was greeted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and a team from the United States Embassy in Georgetown, including Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch.
Pompeo, who is visiting for less than 24 hours, was scheduled to meet with President Irfaan Ali later in the evening during “a working dinner.”
On Friday, Ali and Pompeo will sign an agreement that will permit Guyana to improve its investment enabling environment for the country can benefit from transparent infrastructure investment that respects Guyana’s sovereignty, a senior state department official said on Wednesday.
The United States and Guyana will also exchange diplomatic notes for joint maritime patrols to interdict narcotics.
According to the State Department, Pompeo will also discuss with Guyana’s leaders the impact on the country of the crisis in Venezuela, which is the hemisphere’s largest refugee and humanitarian crisis. He is expected to formally meet and hold extended talks with Foreign Minister Todd and also Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community Irwin Laroque on Friday.
Pompeo’s visit to Guyana is seen as historic since he is the highest-ranking U.S government official to visit the country.
He was also very critical of the recent protracted election process in Guyana, insisting that a government needed to be formed from the figures generated from a national recount exercise.
His visit is seen as a celebration that democracy has triumphed.
Pompeo stopped in Suriname on his way Guyana earlier on Thursday. He is also expected to stop in Brazil and Colombia before returning to Texas.