Uruguay’s position on barring Malvinas flagged vessels “has not changed an iota”
In an official communiqué Uruguay ratified full support for Argentina’s Malvinas sovereignty claim and underlined that the barring of Malvinas’ flagged vessel from Uruguayan ports stands and “has not changed an iota”.
“Under no circumstances can we accept vessels with the Malvinas flag in our ports” said the release which adds that the December Mercosur summit resolution ratified the decision adopted at regional level at the end of 2010 by UNASUR.
However the Uruguayan government “will never share the idea of a maritime or economic blockade to the inhabitants of the Malvinas” which is in violation of the human rights of the inhabitants of the Islands but also contrary to creating the necessary conditions for a peaceful negotiation, the sole path to solve this historic difference and “longstanding painful controversy”.
“Uruguay considers the Malvinas Islands as an English colonial possession in Latin America and consequently can’t recognize their flag. This anti-colonialist stance it not a solitary position from Uruguay, but of the whole of Latin America”, adds the communiqué which describes continental solidarity based on close historical and cultural fraternity links as one of the leading principles of Uruguayan foreign policy.
The release reveals that as described in the last Foreign Office statement William Hague and Uruguay’s Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro spoke on two occasions: December 23 and 28 with the purpose of “making explicit” Uruguay’s positions: “the verbal exchange was cordial and frank”.
“It was made clear that Uruguay allows the docking in its ports of vessels flying the flag of any jurisdiction recognized by Uruguay and which its destination could be the Malvinas Islands or any other. However, it does not authorize the docking of English naval units with destination Malvinas and this is done in solidarity with Argentina”.
During the phone conversations Almagro read recent quotes from the Uruguayan presidency:
“There is a political definition not to allow the access to Uruguayan ports of vessels flying the Malvinas Islands flag and whose sovereignty is claimed by Argentina with the support of Uruguay (12.15.11 President Jose Mujica)
“We have nothing against England, but we have much in favour of our neighbours and above all, of our working people. (12.15.11, President Jose Mujica).
“The Uruguayan government will never share the idea of a maritime or economic blockade to the inhabitants of the Malvinas because it understands it is harmful, in violation of human rights and contrary to creating the conditions for a peaceful negotiation, the sole path to solve this historic difference”.
The release points out that during the conversation between Almagro and Hague there was no suggestion of changing the barred flag and operate in the port of Montevideo with a third flag. Such a decision is absolutely not competent to Uruguay.
Furthermore Uruguay joins other countries from the region and the world in exhorting the United Kingdom to listen to calls from the UN General Assembly to resume dialogue with Argentina on the issue and “advance to a definitive solution of this longstanding and painful controversy”.