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    5. US announces joint military flight exercise as Venezuela threatens oil-rich ..

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    US announces joint military flight exercise as Venezuela threatens oil-rich Guyana region

    Nicolas Maduro (left), President of Venezuela, held a referendum on the sovereignty of the Essequibo region Photo: FEDERICO PARRA/AFP < p>The United States announced in Thursday on joint military flight exercises in Guyana as rising tensions with Venezuela prompted the U.N. Security Council to convene an urgent meeting.

    A border feud has erupted over the oil-rich Essequibo region, which has been ruled by Guyana for more than a century but has Venezuela also claims, and now seeks to bring this region under its rule.

    The quarrel continues. is quickly attracting international attention, and America's announcement of military exercises is the latest sign that Washington is alarmed by the threat from Venezuela's authoritarian leftist government.

    “In collaboration with the Guyana Defense Force, US Southern Command will conduct flights into Guyana on December 7,” the US Embassy in Georgetown said in a statement.

    The statement said the flights are part of “routine engagement and strengthening operations.” security partnership” with Guyana.

    The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors in New York on Friday to discuss the tensions, according to a report. updated official schedule.

    In the letter, Hugh Todd, Guyana's foreign minister, asked the council president to “urgently convene a meeting” to discuss “a serious matter that threatens international peace and security.” .

    Mr Todd said Venezuela's behavior “clearly constitutes a direct threat to the peace and security of Guyana and more broadly threatens the peace and security of the entire region.”

    In Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the country's president, also expressed “growing concern” about tensions on his country's northern border, telling a summit of the regional bloc Mercosur: “If there is anything we don't want here in South America, This is war.”

    On Wednesday, the Brazilian army said it was increasing its presence in the northern cities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista as part of efforts to “guarantee the integrity of the territory.”

    The long-running dispute over Essequibo, which covers about two-thirds of Guyana's territory and is home to 125,000 of Guyana's 800,000 citizens, has intensified since ExxonMobil discovered oil there in 2015.

    Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's president, has upped the ante in recent days after saying he received overwhelming support in Sunday's referendum on the fate of Essequibo.

    There is a trial at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague over where the region's borders should lie, but Venezuela does not accept the court's jurisdiction over the issue.

    In a telephone conversation with Irfaan Ali: President of Guyana, on Wednesday , Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, reiterated his country's “unwavering support for Guyana's sovereignty” and called for a peaceful resolution to the situation.

    Guyana, a former British and Dutch colony, insists that Essequibo's borders were determined by an arbitration commission in 1899.

    But Venezuela argues that the Essequibo River in the east of the region forms a natural border, recognized back in 1777.

    Caracas called the referendum after Guyana began auctioning oil blocks in Essequibo in August.

    Voters were asked to answer five questions, including whether Venezuela rejected the 1899 arbitration award because of the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

    They were also asked whether Venezuelan citizenship should be granted to residents of the new “State of Guyana Esequiba” (now Guyanese).

    Officials in Caracas said 95 percent of voters supported the measures.

    >'Direct threat' to Guyana

    On Tuesday, Maduro proposed legislation to create Venezuela's Essequibo province and tasked the state oil company with issuing licenses to extract oil in the region.

    Encouraged by the results of the referendum, the President also issued an ultimatum to oil companies operating under Guyana's concessions to cease operations within three months.

    Mr Ali called Mr Maduro's statements a “direct threat” against his country.

    The Guyana Armed Forces are “combat ready,” Mr. Ali added in a rare address to the nation late Tuesday, and are in contact with “partners,” including the United States.

    A Guyanese Army helicopter with seven people on board was reported missing near the border on Wednesday, but an official said there was “no information to suggest” Venezuela was involved.

    Venezuela also confirmed on Wednesday that he had arrested American Savoy citizen Jadon Wright on charges of “conspiring” with ExxonMobil to stop the referendum. US media reported that the arrest was made on October 24.

    Last week, two days before the referendum, the International Court of Justice ordered Venezuela to “refrain from taking any action that could change the situation that is currently time has developed in the territory.” debatable.”

    However, he did not comply with Guyana's urgent request to stop the vote.

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