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Suriname apologises for arrest attempt at Guyanese embassy

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 4:21 AM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Suriname’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Lackin has apologised to his Guyanese counterpart Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, for an attempt by police to arrest a staff member on the premises of the Guyana Embassy in Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo, earlier this month.

Lackin also sought to assure the government of Guyana that a probe will be conducted into the incident involving two Surinamese policemen that led to the assault of Keith George, Guyana’s Ambassador to Suriname.

Guyana's Ambassador Carolyn Rodriques-Birkett was also assured that “appropriate remedial measures will be taken by Suriname and action will be taken to avoid a reoccurrence in the future”.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains committed to the continued deepening of the relations between the Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Suriname and is satisfied that both countries have been addressing the incident under reference in a mature, friendly and good neighbourly manner which is testimony to the strong ties of friendship between both Governments,” the statement added.

On April 1, George was assaulted by Surinamese police following a traffic incident outside of the compound.

George insisted that no arrest could take place on the premises because that would be a breach of the Vienna Convention, but the police said the diplomatic mission was on Surinamese territory.

The policemen declared that it was Surinamese territory and the Ambassador was obstructing police work. However, the ambassador stood in front of the officers who grabbed on his clothing ripping his shirt.

In the aftermath of the incident, the government of Guyana registered concern and called for steps to be taken to ensure that there would not be a recurrence of the “gross violations of international law”.