The president of Guyana is accusing Venezuela of deploying troops to a contested border region in what he calls a "dangerous" escalation of a long-running dispute between the two South American nations.

President David Granger says he has received reports of what he called "extraordinary military deployments" along what Guyana considers its western border. He said Tuesday that defense officials were meeting to discuss a response.

Guyana has asked the U.N. to mediate the border dispute and Granger is expected to raise the issue at the upcoming General Assembly.

Venezuela has long claimed a resource-rich jungle territory known as the Essequibo that comprises about two-thirds of Guyana.

The Venezuelan government had no immediate comment. Venezuela has recently sent troops to its border with Colombia in a crackdown on smuggling.