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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 16:59 GMT
Chavez visits 'brother' Guyana
Map of Guyana
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has hailed the "extraordinary relationship" with neighbouring Guyana, after arriving there for talks.

"We are ready to begin a new era in relations between Guyana and Venezuela, two brother countries," he said, after receiving a 21-gun salute.

Discussions were set to centre on the sale of Venezuelan oil, and a new highway through several countries.

But it is also thought they could touch on a sensitive territorial dispute.

Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo met Mr Chavez at the airport in capital Georgetown, where the visitor's arrival held up several other flights.

Closer ties

The one-day visit was to address the sale of oil to Guyana at preferential rates, as envisaged under an agreement signed between American and Caribbean countries in 2000.

Mr Chavez played down the two nations' dispute over the Essequibo region, which makes up two-thirds of Guyana's territory, preferring to concentrate on closer ties.

"The integration of South America and the Caribbean is vital, especially now when there is new liberalism that has failed," he said, in a reference to western globalisation.


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