Argentine protests Falklands oil drilling before the Rio Group and UN
Argentina will be pressing next Monday for support from Latinamerica and the Caribbean, and on Wednesday at United Nations, in its dispute over the oil drilling round about to being in the Falkland Islands.
Foreign Affairs minister Jorge Taiana is participating Monday and Tuesday of the Rio Group that brings together twenty countries from the region and is meeting in Mexico. The agenda includes Haiti’s reconstruction and the regional political balance but Taiana is expected to have the Falklands’ issue added.
Since it was born unpresumptuous in the eighties the Rio Group has been quite successful in defusing regional armed conflicts, mainly in Central American and lately in keeping at bay the ongoing Venezuela and Colombia confrontation.
A strong declaration in support of Argentina’s position calling for sovereignty negotiations on the Falklands dispute with Britain, based on UN resolutions, and condemnation of UK’s unilateral actions in the South Atlantic can be expected.
On Wednesday Taiana has a meeting scheduled with UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon when Argentina will again denounce Britain’s decision to endorse oil exploratory drilling in the Falklands’ maritime jurisdiction.
The Argentine diplomatic blitzkrieg will only escalate the current confrontation with London over the oil exploration round and the development of an oil industry in the Falklands, which Britain openly supports as legitimate, based on the Islanders right to self determination and UK sovereignty over the Islands.
On Wednesday Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed a decree establishing that all maritime trade or business with Falklands’ ports and/or crossing of Argentine waters needs a formal authorization from the Argentine government, since the disputed Islands are an integral part of Argentine territory.
Argentina’s main argument against the oil drilling round by “British companies” in Falklands’ waters is that they do not abide by the reiterated UN resolutions.
In response to the Argentine government position and latest decree, Foreign Office Minster Chris Bryant said that UK “have no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and we're clear that the Falkland Islands Government is entitled to develop a hydrocarbons industry within its waters. The Falkland Islands territorial waters are controlled by the Islands' authorities”
However in a conciliatory note Minister Bryant added that it must not be ignored that Argentina and the UK are important partners.
“We have a close and productive relationship on a range of issues: in the G20, on climate change, sustainable development and counter-proliferation. We would like to add South Atlantic issues to that list and will work to develop the relationship further. If that could be made to work, it would be good for all concerned” said Bryant.
Meantime Desire Petroleum the British company that contracted the oil rig “Ocean Guardian” which is expected to begin exploratory drilling in Falklands’ waters next week fully ratified its plans.
“All this is most unfortunate, but has been anticipated for months. Desire’s logistics has not been affected”, said a spokesperson for the company.