Sir Robin questions Argentina's Falklands' policy.
British ambassador in Buenos Aires Sir Robin Christopher suggested Argentina has taking distance from the spirit of the Falklands 1999 and 2001 agreements and regretted the next of kin had cancelled the visit to the recently finished Memorial in the Darwin Argentine cemetery.
During the Tuesday presentation in CARI (Argentine Council for International Relations) of the book "Argentina-Great Britain: bilateral agreements 1823-2001" written by Argentine political analyst and historian Rosendo Fraga, Sir Robin, speaking in Spanish said that "for the last four years I've done everything possible to keep together the spirit and print. And I've had some modest successes which are reflected in this book. But lately the print has distanced from the spirit, and it will take time to get them together again", reports the Buenos Aires press.
Addressing an audience of politicians, historians, Malvinas next of kin and diplomats, among which Mr. Santos Goñi head of the Malvinas Desk in the Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry, the British ambassador insisted that "print and spirit of agreements must advance together, and this book underlines much of what we have in common. Also how we've worked in good faith addressing the little that divides us".
Further on he talked of the joint attempts since 1971 "to manage the controversy" working for ways for Islanders and the continent "to live together and cooperate", and of the "wounds" of 1982 which began to be healed with the Joint Declaration of Madrid in 1989.
Recalling the July 1999 Joint Declaration Sir Robin said it was the beginning of that necessary "spirit" in any agreement which enabled to advance in the well being and interests of both sides involved. Similarly with the 2001 agreement on flights of private aircrafts to the Islands but, according to the Argentine press, that "spirit" has not been present regarding the Argentine cenotaph in Darwin, said Sir Robin.
Just over a week ago a small group of Malvinas next of kin that had scheduled a private flight to the Falklands to visit the recently finished Memorial cancelled the trip following suggestions of "inconvenience" from the Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry Malvinas Desk.
"It's a pity, and does not reflect the spirit of any of the agreements", indicated the British Ambassador who had been invited to join the group which once in the Islands had scheduled a meeting with the elected Councillors to talk about the inauguration of the Argentine cemetery Memorial.
Finally Sir Christopher talked about the cancelled charter flights from Punta Arenas, which Buenos Aires has conditioned to the establishment of regular flights of an Argentine company from Argentina to the Islands which the Islanders do no accept.
"An agreement is possible", although the "correct focus is necessary" said Sir Robin who recalled Britain's last proposal of an open skies policy which "could end with the exclusion of Argentine airlines flying to the Falklands, a legacy from the 1982 conflict".
However the British Ambassador who is retiring at the end of October said he believed "there won't be another treaty to add to the book" in the coming future.
CARI host Ambassador Carlos Ortiz de Rosas who closed the presentation admitted the bilateral relation "was not going through the best of moments" and described the situation as "bittersweet".
But adopting an optimistic attitude said that if the British appeal to their well known wisdom and political perspective "they will be able to solve the conflict we have".