Argentine ambassador to the United Kingdom Alicia Castro renewed Argentina’s sovereignty claims over the Falkland Islands and put the Edward Snowden spy row on London’s table: “We are free nations that neither need nor want to be spied on,” Castro warned.
During a commemorative ceremony organized in the ambassador’s residency in London to mark Argentina’s 197th Independence Anniversary, Castro addressed an audience of politicians, diplomats, artists and intellectuals both Argentine and British.
“While the world debates on warmongering trends, invasions and armed military interventions, our region promotes democracy, dialogue among equals, multilateralism and the peaceful and negotiated resolution of conflicts,” she said as she praised Latin America’s determination to consider the Falklands/Malvinas Islands’ dispute as a regional cause.
“We defend the territorial integrity of our continent and the possession of our natural resources,” Castro insisted and renewed the long-standing claims of the Cristina Fernández administration to resume dialogue with the UK over the South Atlantic archipelago, prompting the applause of a 500-member audience.
The Snowden spy row that has led to fierce condemnation from South American leaders lately also came to the fore in London with the ambassador questioning US’s espionage on regional countries.
“Almost 200 years since the declaration of our Independence, it seems necessary to repeat to ourselves that we are free nations that neither need nor want to be spied on, watched and monitored,” Castro stated.
Meanwhile Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman questioned the US spy missions in Latin America, but also denied that Argentina had offered asylum to former intelligence agent Edward Snowden.
We have not received a request for asylum from Snowden; we have not offered asylum at any point, the minister affirmed while talking about the NSA contractor.
According to Timerman, two things stand out, the massive nature of the espionage and the clumsiness they have shown in keeping the secrets. He added that the Snowden leaker case is a much worse incident than with Wikileaks, referring to the release of diplomatic cables sent from US embassies to Washington.