Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge on Tuesday met with the Senior Director of the United States National Security Council’s Western Hemisphere Affairs, Mauricio Claver-Carone, to discuss the ongoing border controversy Guyana has with Venezuela.The meeting was held between the two high-level officials in Brasilia, Brazil, on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony for the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.According to a release from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the discussions were focused on the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy, particularly the Venezuelan navy’s recent interception of an ExxonMobil contracted vessel, conducting seismic surveys in Guyanese territory on December 22, 2018.According to the Ministry, the US State Department issued a statement prior to the incident saying, “Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.”It went on to urge Venezuelans to respect the international laws and rights of its neighbours.Senior Director of the United States National Security Council’s Western Hemisphere Affairs, Mauricio Claver-Carone and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl GreenidgeInaugurationMeanwhile, at the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, Greenidge said his attendance consolidates existing relations.“Brazil is an important ally especially at a time when there is so much instability in the world,” Greenidge said. “Most importantly, it is our largest immediate neighbour and our relationship with the State is a priority,” he added.Notwithstanding a change of Government, the Guyanese Foreign Minister remains optimistic about Guyana/Brazil relations. “I wouldn’t expect there to be a shift as regards Guyana because our relations have not been unstable. We have strong common interests bilaterally and regionally,” he explained.The Minister also seized the opportunity to meet with his Brazilian counterpart, Ernesto Araujo, who previously held the post of Director of the Department US, Canada and Inter-American matters.During the meeting, the two Ministers also discussed the Guyana/Venezuela controversy and other areas of mutual interest. Greenidge during the ceremony was able to meet with ambassadors of Caribbean states where he briefed them on developing issues including the controversy with Venezuela and the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).Meanwhile, on the issue of Guyana/Brazil relations, Guyana’s Ambassador, George Talbot underscored the nature of existing relations with Brazil which have spanned decades.Guyana and Brazil established diplomatic relations on August 26, 1968. Cooperation covers a broad range of areas including trade, health, agriculture, transport and security matters.Venezuelan militaryIn December, the Venezuelan military forced a seismic vessel belonging to ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary out of Guyanese waters.ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary has since suspended the 3D seismic operations it started only a month ago in Guyana’s Stabroek Block after the appearance and approach of the Venezuelan military, which forced the company’s seismic vessel to pack up shop and vacate the area.The vessel in question is the Ramform Tethys, which is owned by Norwegian company Petroleum and Geo Services (PGS) that was contracted by ExxonMobil to carry out tests and acquire seismic data.This incident comes at a time when Guyana has an ongoing case with Venezuela in regard to territorial integrity. In November Guyana submitted its memorial on jurisdiction to the International Court of Justice, and a date has been set for the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuelan to submit its own counter memorial.