A group of visiting British MPs and Lords refused to organize a working group over the issue of Falklands/Malvinas Islands sovereignty with their Argentine counterparts during a visit to Congress in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.
The British delegation was received by the presidents of the Lower House and Senate external affairs committees, Guillermo Carmona and Senator Daniel Filmus who presented the proposal for the working group and meeting which was originally scheduled for 2012.
The visiting delegation was comprised of representatives from the House of Commons, Robert Walter and Mark Menzies (Conservative) and Ann McKechin and Chris Bryant (Labor); and representatives of the House of Lords, Angela Evans Smith of Basildon (Labor); Vivien Helen Stern (Independent) and Gloria Hooper (Conservative).
Carmona and Filmus asked their British colleagues to reopen talks over the Falklands/Malvinas issue and proposed creating a special commission to discuss the issue. However, the initiative was rejected by the British MPs.
Unfortunately, we haven’t achieved a positive response, but we will keep insisting on a path to dialogue”, said Carmona who underlined Ambassador in UK Alicia Castro's efforts in London to try and promote an inter-parliamentary dialogue.
However the dissent over the Falklands/Malvinas did not prevent the lawmakers to address other issues referred to energy, bilateral trade and human rights.
They praised the thirty years of democracy in Argentina and consulted us on the human rights issue, since they know we have a vast experience on the subject, added Carmona.
Attending the meeting with their British counterparts were lawmakers from all the Argentine political arch with congressional representation. They all shared lunch in Congress.
On Wednesday the delegation is scheduled to meet with YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio who will inform them of the famous Vaca Muerta shale gas and oil deposits, as well as how the company seized from Spain's Repsol is on the track to recovery.
On Tuesday afternoon the delegation met with Foreign minister Hector Timerman as the San Martin Palace, where the host again reiterated Argentina's claims over the Falklands/Malvinas.
We addressed all issues that make to the Argentina/UK relation, among which the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands and the South Atlantic and also about the protectionist policies implemented by the European Union which have a direct impact on Argentina, and the coming negotiations for a trade deal with the EU, Timerman told waiting journalists following the meeting.
It has been a very positive dialogue. We are very happy with their visit. It's an important step that they should have come to see firsthand the reality of our country and that they were able to meet with all the blocks in the Lower House and in the Senate, and understand how vast and deep is the support for the Malvinas cause among the Argentine people”, added Timerman.
Present also at the meeting of the British delegation with Timerman was Deputy minister Eduardo Zuaín; Senator Filmus, Deputy Carmona and diplomats from the Malvinas and Europe desks.