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Montevideo, September 20th 2018 - 03:24 UTC

Governor Praises Falklands' “Success Story”

Wednesday, August 23rd 2000 - 21:00 UTC
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Falkland Islanders have been praised for their remarkable achievements by their Governor, Donald Lamont, who says: “The Falkland Islands are a success story. Economically and politically, the prospects for the future are very good”.

In an interview in London with the co-editor of the Falkland Islands Association Newsletter and London Mercopress Correspondent, Harold Briley, the Governor declared there is a very sound basis for the Islanders to develop according to their own domestic priorities, underpinned by the British Government's commitment on sovereignty and self-determination.

Expressing optimism for the future, he said the Falkland Islands, enjoying unprecedented prosperity from fisheries, is managing this resource "in a very responsible way". There is potential for finding offshore oil, and even onshore minerals in the long-term, from growth of tourism, and from diversification in agriculture, including "organic status" for the whole of the Islands, to enable farmers overcome loss of traditional markets and the gloomy prospects for wool.

Anglo-Argentine Agreement Benefits All.

He described last year's July 14 Agreement on co-operation with Argentina as a "significant step forward ... a good balanced deal of benefit to all, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and the Falkland Islands". One year on, his overall assessment of its implementation was "positive". With removal of the 17-year ban on Argentine visitors, they go home with a better understanding of the Islands. Restoration of flights to South America has worked well.

Asked about lingering resentment by some Islanders over lack of consultation, he agreed there is some "unhappiness" and added: "It is difficult to see how it might have been done differently, given the sensitivity of the matter". Negotiations developed faster than anyone expected. In international relations, too great a degree of openness on negotiating positions could cause the whole process to unravel." My impression is that the majority view in the Islands is that the agreement has brought benefits and contains no concession of principal on sovereignty, which justifies the Falklands Councillors' decisions".

The Councillors acted decisively, took responsibility for their actions and "shouldered that responsibility in exemplary fashion. That is not easy in a tight-knit community where you are daily held directly to account".

Islanders' Views Valid in Anglo-Argentine Relations

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Categories: Falkland Islands.

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