Argentina energetically rejected the UK complaint about alleged intimidation of vessels linked to Falklands/Malvinas activities as well as the awarding of squid licences in waters close to the South Atlantic archipelago.
Argentine ambassador in London Alicia Castro was summoned Monday to the Foreign Office by the head of the Defence and Intelligence Department, Robert Hannigan, according to a release from the Argentine Foreign Ministry.
The release says that FOC officer Hannigan expressed to ambassador Castro the disappointment of the British government with Argentine fishing activities in the South Atlantic, more specifically “UK objects the licences granted for squid fishing in ‘our economic exclusive zone, EEZ,’” in reference to the Falklands’ territorial waters.
The reason for this, according to the ambassador is “that the UK prefers to fish for our squid in the waters surrounding the Malvinas Islands, appropriating our resources; similarly they pretend to appropriate the hydrocarbons through illegal exploration and exploitation”.
Mr Hannigan also complained about alleged intimidation by Argentine vessels against cruise vessels calling in the Malvinas Islands which, was denied by the Ambassador says the release.
“It is worrisome that the British government ignores the statement from Monday a week ago before the International Maritime Organization, IMO, where Ambassador Castro showed that Argentina was not violating any of its international commitments in the framework of the Law of the Sea and IMO regulations, a statement that was explicitly supported by all countries from the region.
Finally the ambassador reiterated that the legislation alleged by the UK which regulate coastal navigation between the Argentine continent and the Islas Malvinas have the purpose of protecting the natural resources under its sovereignty and jurisdiction and reject the illegitimate hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation activities developed along the Argentine continental shelf.
In this framework the ambassador reiterated Argentine willingness to dialogue for the resumption of negotiations so as to find a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute relative to the Malvinas Islands question.
On Monday November 19 a gang of hooded elements violently broke into a maritime agent offices in Buenos Aires linked to the cruise industry which includes calls in the Falklands and threatened a repeat if such trips to the Islands don’t cease.
Although during the incident windows were shattered, offices ransacked and the staff fled in panic, there was no police intervention, much less arrests or reported inquiry into the intrusion.
It is also known that cruise companies have been under pressure from Argentina to avoid the Falklands when touring South America.