Venezuela has rejected a United Nations proposal to send its longstanding border dispute with neighboring Guyana to an international court.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said Wednesday that his country will push for a diplomatic settlement spelled out in a 1966 agreement signed in Geneva.

His comment comes a day after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that he is sending the case to the International Court of Justice.

U.N. officials cite a provision of the Geneva accord that gives the secretary-general authority to find a solution if the two countries can't.

The territorial dispute between the two South American countries dates back to 1899. The swath of disputed land makes up 40 percent of Guyana.