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Montevideo, November 14th 2018 - 19:59 UTC

“Falklands’ flag remains an internationally recognized registry”

Monday, December 19th 2011 - 07:06 UTC
Full article 42 comments
The Falklands flag banned from Uruguayan ports  The Falklands flag banned from Uruguayan ports

Surprise and perplexity has surfaced from the Falkland Islands following the announcement by President Jose Mujica that Falklands’ flagged vessels are barred from Uruguayan ports.

“Since Falklands’ vessels have been trading for several decades with Montevideo it would be interesting to know what in the President's mind has changed in the law to make the Falklands flag illegal”, said reliable sources from the Falklands’ fishing industry.

Furthermore from a practical perspective it is not clear because “certainly international law pertaining to flags has not changed, and the Falklands flag remains an internationally recognised registry”.

The Falkland Islands are a member of the Red Ensign Group Register as an Overseas Territory of the UK. The Islands have held a registry since 1861 and currently operate a ‘Category 2’ membership.

Since the UK is responsible for foreign affairs and defence of the Falkland Islands, British ambassador in Montevideo Patrick Mullee is scheduled to meet with Uruguay’s Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro on Wednesday following the two-day Mercosur summit in Uruguay.

“I think I will be meeting with Ambassador Mullee and most probably it will take place next Wednesday since Monday and Tuesday we have the Mercosur summit in Montevideo”, said Almagro who added that “we are in permanent contact with our ambassador (Nestor Moreira Morán) in Great Britain”.

Last Friday the Foreign Office convened the Uruguayan ambassador to express London’s “great concern” and demand “clarifications” regarding the Uruguayan position, according to British embassy sources in Montevideo.

“The Uruguayan position is potentially very worrying and we are carefully considering our next steps”, said a Foreign Office brief message which was read to the media in Montevideo.

“It would be most disappointing that Uruguay has decided to back the shameful attempts by Argentina to harm the economy and way of life of the inhabitants of this small archipelago by blocking access to free trade”.

The Foreign Office message adds that Britain has no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and will continue to support the right of the Islanders to determine their own political future.

“Nor we or the Falklands will yield to those pretending to intimidate or blackmail the Islands”.

The Foreign Office reaction followed on last Thursday’s President Mujica’s words and a brief release posted in the Executive portal stating that the measure is in support of Argentina’s claim over the Malvinas Islands, although the decision was not extensive to English flagged vessels.

The release added that Uruguay was not acting under pressure from Argentina.
 

Top Comments

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  • Feathers McGraw

    In response to the question in the first para - nothing has changed, just that the Uruguayans have all the strength of a River Plate sea fog and might as well be in control of Buenos Aires when you consider the gutless useless shower they have in government.

    Plastic bag say “Jump”, Uruguay say “How high, senora?”

    Dec 19th, 2011 - 08:55 am 0
  • Rob the argentine

    It seems you are right #1, and it is a real shame for Uruguay.

    Dec 19th, 2011 - 09:11 am 0
  • RedBaron

    Uruguay has taken a unilateral stance against the Falklands flag but, by doing so, they have effectively declared a hostile act against the British flag as well.
    FIG and the FCO (if they haven't already) need to take some serious legal advice and approach the International Maritime Organisation, as well as the UN because this action is not justified in international law and is hostile to the UK and to the international maritime community.
    The Falklands flag is not a flag of convenience and there are no maritime sanctions worldwide in force against the FI, so this is a serious matter and needs to be rebutted.
    The insidious creep of backdoor methods to isolate the Islands may not appear to be significant (doubtless there will be calls to transfer FI flagged vessels to British flag, but that is just running away from the problem). The minor irritations will mount up and action needs to be taken to nip them in the bud.

    Dec 19th, 2011 - 10:48 am 0
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