Falklands/Malvinas: Argentina thanks Mercosur partners for renewed support
Argentine Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman thanked his Mercosur counterparts for renewing their support towards Argentina for its legitimate, constant and unlimited right to claim the Malvinas Islands' sovereignty to the United Kingdom.
Timerman message was delivered Monday at the Mercosur Parliament, Parlasur plenary, in Montevideo, Uruguay during a meeting of the block’s foreign affairs ministers.
The Argentine representative was joined by Brazil's Celso Amorin, Uruguay's Luis Almagro and Paraguay's Héctor Lacognata, and was the first speaker at the 26th Parlasur Plenary session. Timmerman sought to gain support towards the currently-in-the-spotlight disputed Falklands/Malvinas issue.
In his address Timmerman devoted himself to praise Argentina's pro-tempore presidency of the Mercosur bloc in the first half of this year stating that goals had been achieved. According to his words, certain objectives were reached always bearing in mind that the core of the bloc's agenda is that of maintaining a regional productive integration.
According to Argentine diplomatic sources Timerman appears to be after the bloc's partners to sign a support declaration document, which would state firmly that the neighbouring nations do support Argentina in its claim.
However, Brazil is believed to have its second thoughts about signing such a binding document since the Brazilian diplomacy is ‘more flexible’ and always likes to have room for the extra edge. Furthermore it is already engaged in a defence-related cooperation agreement with the United Kingdom which was signed last month.
The administration of Cristina Kirchner is determined that countries in the region provide no logistics support to any vessels or Royal Navy units heading to or coming from the Falklands. Uruguay last month was exposed to a dose of that medicine when at last moment it banned HMS Gloucester from entering Montevideo in spite of a previous authorization.
“Our priority is good relations with Argentina”, admitted President Jose Mujica in a personal apology to the UK ambassador in Montevideo.
Earlier in the day the four Mercosur members Foreign Affairs ministers had expressed their concerns about the military missile tests that UK forces are currently conducting at the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
The official communiqué was signed and released during the Parlasur plenary. Parlasur also ratified the expressions and documents of disagreements submitted by the South American Nation's Union (UNASUR) and the Río Group regarding UK’s military test firing in the Falklands.
The ministers also rejected the comments made by British officials from the Foreign Office indicating that these kind of drills are routine and have been taking place every six months for the past 28 years.
Argentina alleged that the UK behaviour is clearly violating the international security codes.
Last Friday the US Department of State during a press conference supported the Foreign Office comment that the “missile firing was routine, and has been for the last 28 years (since the end of the Falklands/Malvinas war)”, adding that the dispute is bilateral and has to be decided by both sides.
“If and only if, both sides so request it, would the US consider acting as a mediator in the dispute”, said Philip Crowley, State Department spokesperson. He also added that the Foreign Office was acting with ‘transparency’ on the issue.
According to Minister Timmerman, Argentina also presented before the International Maritime Organization a formal note of protest regarding the “missile firing tests” in Malvinas waters.