…but says AFC still expects seat at tableAfter stipulations laid down by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo that he will meet with President David Granger and not Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, the Alliance For Change (AFC) has indicated that the AFC executive will have no issue in stepping aside.AFC Leader and Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman and Prime Minister Moses NagamootooThis is according to AFC Leader and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman. According to the Minister, these long overdue talks represent a positive outcome of national interest and as such, Nagamootoo will comply with the stipulation.“From the AFC perspective, we are quite elated that long overdue talks seem to be becoming a reality. This is good news to us. We don’t believe that PM Moses Nagamootoo has in any way been slighted, he has always been for national dialogue and will have no issue stepping aside for the national interest.”“We urge the PPP to engage. We believe there is much to be determined in the areas of oil and gas, national security, border issues, national development. So, we’re quite happy,” Trotman related.Trotman also expressed the hope that without Nagamootoo, the AFC would still be represented at the meetings. He noted that the AFC was present at the first meeting between Granger and Jagdeo as Opposition Leader. As such, it expects the same treatment.DialogueJagdeo, on Thursday, reaffirmed the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s commitment to being part of any formal talks with the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change Coalition Government, once there was a clear agenda and personnel on the part of the coalition who have the power, portfolio weight, and authority to make binding commitments during the discussions.The Opposition Leader also made it clear that as a responsible stakeholder, the PPP/C was not interested in entering “cosmetic talks and arrangements” that were aimed at achieving political mileage and deceiving the public that progress was being made between the Government and Opposition on key areas, especially those related to constitutional reform, governance, and the fight against all forms of political and public corruption.Jagdeo had made public his Party’s recommitment to being part of discussions sponsored by the Government, once they are transparent, serious in nature, and aimed at tackling some key issues which are eating away at the moral, social, economic and political fabric of society.He explained that he felt the need to publicly share his Party’s position on any proposed talks, in order to clarify any misconception or belief that the PPP was not interested in dialogue with the Government, and was, therefore, avoiding the same because of its perceived resentment of the Prime Minister, who initially had been identified as the person who would spearhead discussions.Jagdeo added he was compelled to ensure that the international community and Guyanese within the Diaspora did not get the wrong impression of the PPP/C’s posture.“I received a call from President Carter, Jimmy Carter [former US President James Earl Carter Jr], and after talking a bit about Guyana, he said to me he had spoken to President Granger, and somehow, (what) he got from that conversation is that the Government wanted to engage with us and we are unwilling to engage, because we don’t like Nagamootoo. So, I said to him that that’s absolutely not true,” the Opposition Leader said.Jagdeo maintained that the only issue his Party has with Nagamootoo was related to his portfolio. He remarked that the PPP and its leaders did not believe that the Prime Minister had a portfolio within Government, or that Nagamootoo had the ability to make the kind of serious and binding commitments the PPP needed after being locked in discussions.“It is not the individual; it is his inability to make commitments that we cannot accept; because — and I pointed this out to President Carter; I said, ‘The AFC can’t even secure a meeting with APNU. They have written APNU since February of this year, and now it’s July, and I do not think they can secure a meeting with APNU to discuss the Cummingsburg Accord.“Secondly, Nagamootoo has absolutely no substantive portfolio. GINA and Chronicle … is not a serious portfolio; and, therefore, that is the reason why,” he explained.