”Argentina will defend its claim” over the Malvinas Islands and companies drilling for oil off the coast of the contested resource-rich archipelago “will not only face administrative consequences but also prison sentences” warned Daniel Filmus, head of Argentina's recently created Malvinas Islands Secretariat, in an interview with The Guardian.
“We will go to the international courts” the British paper quotes Filmus who ratified the determination of President Cristina Fernández administration to settle the Malvinas question through dialogue.
“There are few issues in Argentina that provoke such heartfelt support from not only all political forces but from the population in general” the former Senator and ex Education Minister stated.
Argentina recently passed a law that sets sanctions on foreign companies that carry out hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in the disputed territories and its surrounding areas, with President Cristina Fernandez personally accusing the coalition government of British PM David Cameron of “looting” Argentines’ natural resources in several public appearances.
“Who does not obtain the permit (from Argentina) will not only face administrative consequences but also prison sentences” explained Daniel Filmus, the former Senator who failed to renew his bench in last October's mid-term election.
Regarding the Falklands/Malvinas Islands’ inhabitants, Filmus renewed the stance that the United Nations has recognized the Malvinas question as a territorial dispute and not a controversy that involves the observance of peoples’ right to self-determination, a pledge London has maintained over the past years.
Last March a referendum was held in the Falkland Islands, with international observers, in which an overwhelming majority reaffirmed their decision to remain a British Overseas Territory.
”There are 250,000 British descendants in Argentina, but they don’t claim the land they stand on is British,” Filmus argued.
When queried about the sovereignty talks Buenos Aires and London had held prior to the 1982 South Atlantic War conducted by Argentina’s then ruling military dictatorship, Filmus considered such negotiations proves the UK that the bilateral dispute “exists.”
“Those (previous) talks implied the recognition of the existence of the dispute and that the way to resolve it was by both sides sitting down in an adult fashion to talk”, the Malvinas Islands Affairs Secretary told The Guardian.