Tuesday, June 29th 2004 - 21:00 UTC

“Air links: get real Bielsa”.

“Let's forget fantasy and live in the real world”, suggests a prominent member of the Falkland Islands community in an “open letter” to Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa following a further authorization by the Argentine government for an Argentine airline to fly to the Islands.

Mr. Tim Miller emphasizes in the letter published in the Penguin News that there's only one authority that can license an airline to fly to the Islands and that is "the Falkland Islands Government Department of Civil Aviation".

Recalling recent statements by Mr. Bielsa, Mr. Miller argues that "I know you will not drop your claim to my home, you must also know we will never accept it - you said you would wait 400 years; never in 400,000 years Mr Bielsa would we accept". So given the stalemate, "Let's agree to disagree on the impossible and look at agreeing more realistic things in the future".

The open letter follows:

"Air links: get real Bielsa"

"WHICH will be the next Argentine airline to get your authorisation to fly to the Falkland Islands?

You miss the point, there is only one authority that can license an airline to fly here - it is the Falkland Islands Government's Department of Civil Aviation. If you wish you can apply to London a thousand times. They will tell you to contact Stanley.

Be real; will you or any Argentine airline apply to the legally authorized authority, the Falkland Islands Government? Of course not as this would be recognizing our existence as a self governing territory.

This, you and I know, you will never do, as you want to colonize us, you want us as your colony with your government in charge. Mr Bielsa, I think you will find that this would be against the principles of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee.

Most Argentine airlines do not meet the standards of safety required by our authorities. Also what Argentine airline would be prepared to ask the British Forces for airport landing permits and agree to their insurance and safety standards?

What Argentine would agree to recognize Falkland Islands Government Air Traffic Control or Immigration and Customs and contract with local companies for ground handling, security, agency, etc?

Let's forget fantasy and live in the real world - it will never happen.

I know you will not drop your claim to my home, you must also know we will never accept it - you said you would wait 400 years; never in 400,000 years Mr Bielsa would we accept.

So we are stalemate. Let's agree to disagree on the impossible and look at agreeing more realistic things in the future.

So far your actions over air communications have made us Islanders view Argentina just as we did in 1982; a nation of arrogant bullies who have no idea of the principles of democracy, freedom and people's rights and wishes.

Didn't 1982 show you that we never give in to bullies and their dictators?

If you really want to move relations forward as you say, then how about it; the ball is in your court".

Tim Miller - Stanley

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