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The Baroness emphasised that the United Kingdom and other donors giving money to Guyana are very keen to see some kind of resolution to these issues of concern for the national interest.
Wrapping up a two-day visit to Guyana Monday, Baroness Amos told media practitioners at Press conference at the British High Commissioner's Bel Air residence: "I'm taking away quite a deep concern about the current situation, particularly about the nature of the relationships between the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese communities, and a strong feeling from those that I spoke to, that it's very important that the Government and the Opposition come together and discuss some key issues -- for example the crime situation -- for the good of the country."
Baroness Amos, who arrived in Guyana on Sunday night, said that her visit was part of the ongoing relationship between Britain and Guyana. She said that Britain has been working on a number of issues here, and explained that her visit was about making sure that she "remains engaged and informed about the situation here in Guyana, so that Britain can give whatever support it can, particularly in relation to the political process ongoing at the moment."
The Baroness yesterday met and held separate discussions with President Bharrat Jagdeo and Opposition Leader Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, after which she had a lengthy meeting with the Social Partners. She also met with members of GAP/WPA, and on each occasion, issues of concern were raised, the Minister said.
The issues ranged from concerns over the current situation, in particular the crime situation to the state of the economy, and some of the mediation efforts being made by the Social Partners and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
"But what I was very interested to hear was the mechanism that the Social Partners were going through, in terms of trying to draft a paper on these issues related to crime, and holding discussions and dialogue with the parties on this very matter," Baroness Amos asserted.
The Baroness pointed out that the British High Commissioner is engaged in discussions with the Social Partners, and with the Commonwealth and others, in terms of the British Government giving support to the process here.
Reiterating that the President has his concerns, and that the Opposition Leader has his concerns, the Minister said it was important for the people of Guyana to understand and recognise that there is international support (for the process).
"The Commonwealth is engaged," the Baroness noted, adding that the United Kingdom and other donors are very keen to see some kind of resolution of these issues of concern for the national interest. "That's the key thing -- that the people of Guyana are the ones who need to state their concerns. They have concerns, and those concerns need to be listened to, and there needs to be a mechanism for their concerns to be put on the table,” the British official said.
And alluding to two earlier visits made by Sir Paul Reeves, who had held discussions with both Government and Opposition, the Baroness indicated that Sir Paul would be returning to Guyana next January.
She said that the British Government is supporting that process, and is also supporting the Social Partners' process with the objective of trying to bring Government and Opposition together.
"This is something that the people of Guyana need to work on,” she said.
The Baroness added: "What we can do is to work behind the scenes to support those processes, and that is precisely what we're here to do."
In response to a question on her assessment of progress seen, Baron Amos said, "These are processes that take a very long time. You take tiny steps forward. You can appear to take very large steps back. I think it would be very wrong of me to say whether I have seen progress," she affirmed.
Baroness Amos was of the view that it was for the Opposition and the Government to talk about the stage that they have reached in this process.
Albeit, she said, she was very pleased to see that there are Guyanese people, who are engaged in very positive and creative ways in this process. There is also the support of the whole of the international community through the Commonwealth, and also through the donors represented here in Guyana, taking a strong interest in this.
"I think that's good news," Baroness Amos noted.