UK sending Royal Navy ship to Guyana

The United Kingdom is sending the Royal Navy patrol ship, HMS Trent, to Guyana.
The visit comes as the CARICOM nation is locked in an intensified border dispute with Venezuela.
A UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson said the vessel will visit Guyana as part of a series of engagements in the region during her Atlantic patrol task deployment.
The offshore patrol vessel HMS Trent is in Barbados over Christmas and will then head to Guyana for activities which will be carried out at sea. The ship is not expected to dock in Georgetown.
Guyana and Venezuela are both claiming ownership of Essequibo county which makes up about two-thirds of Guyana and is home to 125,000 of the country's 800,000 citizens.
On December 3, Venezuela staged a referendum in which it said 95 per cent of the votes cast were in support of the annexation of the Essequibo region. 
President Nicolas Maduro  announced soon afterwards that foreign companies working in Essequibo would have to withdraw within three months.
Prior to the referendum, the International Court of Justice had ruled that Venezuela must not take any action to seize Essequibo, which has been administered by Guyana for more than a century.
The Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela, issued following talks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this month between President Dr. Irfaan Ali and President Maduro, also indicated that the two countries agreed that "any controversies" between them will be resolved in accordance with international law, including the Geneva Agreement dated February 17, 1966.

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