Argentina wants to review 1999 accord with Aerolineas direct flights Buenos Aires/Falklands
President Cristina Fernandez said Argentina will seek to re-negotiate the 1999 accord with the UK which allows for a weekly flight connecting the Falklands Islands and Chile, and replace it with three schedules a week but from Buenos Aires and in the country’s flag carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas.
I have instructed our Foreign Minister and our ambassador in London to ask for negotiations with the British government in order to have ... flights leaving from mainland Argentina - Buenos Aires - to the Islands in our flag carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas said the president in her state of the nation speech to Congress Thursday midday, which lasted for over three and a half hours.
The presidential announcement was unexpected, since when attending the UN General Assembly last September, she had mentioned the possibility of suspending flights connecting Chile to the Malvinas if the UK refused to engage in dialogue over the Islands’ sovereignty.
“What we want is for the UK to comply with the UN’s resolution. We don’t want to affect anyone’s interests; not the British people’s interests and not the islanders’ interests, nor the Latin Americans interests nor anyone else” emphasized the president adding she had asked Aerolineas Argentina to make plans to fly to the Falklands.
Currently the Falklands are only reachable from the South American continent by air through a weekly LAN flight leaving from Punta Areas and returning the same day from MPA.
“We’re tired of being humiliated,” she said, and insisted on the alleged “militarization” of the Islands arguing that the population of the Falklands is close to 3.000 and the military garrison 1.000, “almost one soldier per three civilians, if that is not militarization, then what is?”
Cristina Fernandez then assured that all Argentina wants is to “sit down and discuss” the matter while taking the interests of the Islanders into consideration.
“Argentina is a country that was built by immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants, but above all, Argentina cannot allow a colonial enclave here,” she stated. “There are 16 colonial enclaves in the world, and ten of them belong to the UK”.
Likewise the president anticipated she would attend the UN Decolonization Committee in New York, next 14 June, to make the case for Argentina and would invite other Unasur leaders to join in the petition.
“We will continue to be a peaceful people, but we will stand up for our rights,” she concluded.