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Guyana and Brazil have mutually agreed to provide legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, through the signing of two bilateral agreements, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Friday.
The signing of the treaties, which were done by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, M.P, and his Brazilian counterpart, Minister, Carlos Alberto Franco França, was witnessed by President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro. Leading a high-level delegation, the Brazilian leader arrived in Guyana earlier Friday on an official one-day visit, in response to an invitation from President Ali. The first agreement signed on international legal cooperation in civil matters, will see the two states providing full legal cooperation in areas such as civil and administrative law, as well as criminal sentences that seek compensation for damages in the civil court.
Furthermore, the treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters will provide assistance with investigation or prosecution of criminal offences; including the restraint, seizure or confiscation, and also disposal and return of assets. The Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, are the central authorities for executing the provision of the treaties, in Guyana and Brazil, respectively. Before the signing ceremony, the two Presidents and their respective delegations held wide ranging discussions on a number of bilateral, regional and global issues. President Ali said the engagement is part of ongoing talks between the two nations that will advance several plans for the future.
The values shared by the two countries, including the respect for democracy and the rule of law, the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, were highlighted during the discourse. The two state leaders intend to intensify engagement and collaboration with immediate focus on establishing a bilateral working group responsible for assessing the potential gains of a Bao Vista to Georgetown corridor, advancing trade and investment flows. They had also instructed their teams to enable the full implementation of the Guyana-Brazil International Road Transportation Agreement, no later than the third quarter of this year.
Plans are also in the pipeline to advance the process of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2020, for the technical feasibility studies for the installation of a fiber optic link between the two neighbouring states. In terms of infrastructure development, the focus will be on the integrated project that involves the deep-water port, the road rail link, and fiber optic connectivity, President Ali reiterated. Additionally, the countries’ leaders agreed to pursue greater collaboration in agriculture and food security, through the sharing of information and best practices. The bigger aim, President Ali stressed, is to advance Caricom agri-food system, ensuring food security in the region. (DPI)