Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said that the sovereignty claim over Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich islands and surrounding maritime spaces, illegitimately held by Britain, will be paramount in next year’s Ibero-American summit declaration.
Mrs. Kirchner was privileged with the closing speech of the two-day 19th summit held in Estoril, Portugal, since Argentina has taken over the pro tempore chair of the meeting and will be hosting the summit next year in Mar del Plata.
The president also thanked summit members for their support to Argentina’s South Atlantic islands claims, as has happened in previous occasions, and underlined the importance that such a support was part of the final Estoril declaration.
“All of us present here are members of the United Nations and we all know the UN has called on Argentina and the United Kingdom to begin sovereignty negotiations over the Malvinas Islands but this has not happened because of Britain’s point blank rejection”, insisted Mrs. Kirchner.
However the issue has been further complicated with the coming into effect December first of the Lisbon Treaty which considers “Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and the Argentine Antarctic sector as associate territories of the European Union”.
“The Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime spaces are integral part of Argentine territory and are illegitimately occupied by the United Kingdom” said a strongly worded protest released by Argentina with instructions to be presented before all EU 27 members by the Argentine embassies.
Nevertheless Mrs. Kirchner thanked Portuguese Primer Minister Jose Sócrates for his disposition “to take the issue to the European Community”, an important step before “returning the claim to United Nations”.
Argentine Foreign Affairs secretary Jorge Taiana also addressed the issue during the closing press conference in Estoril.
Slowly but steadily, “we continue to advance in the creation of conditions to make the United Kingdom sit with us to discuss the Malvinas sovereignty, as has been repeatedly recommended by United Nations”.
“We are satisfied with the support from all heads of state present at the Ibero-American summit to Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas”.
He also said that Argentina for the “umpteenth time is iterating its protest because the Lisbon Treaty (‘a kind of EU constitution’) includes the Malvinas islands as part of their territory”.
Taiana said that formal protests have been presented before Brussels and the capitals of all EU country members.