The recent visit to Chile and particularly Uruguay of Foreign Office minister for Latin-American Hugo Swire has triggered a barrage of comments and debate in Argentina about the Falklands/Malvinas, particularly aggressive towards the FCO official, but not surprising.
However in the midst of this smoke screen there have also been some interesting points of view, one of them as a contribution to Clarin by Argentine ambassador and former Deputy Foreign Affairs minister, Roberto García Moritán with a long diplomatic career.
In his column It is time to recreate links with the UK the Argentine ambassador suggests a more discreet policy, low key attitude, less aggressive, reestablishing traditional links, and emphasizing that a whole generation of Argentines and Brits only know of enmity and recriminations, when in actual fact there has been a long history of great affinities.
Such as the 1968 Memorandum of Understanding which was only waiting to fix the date for the definitive transfer of Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty to Argentina.
García Moritán begins by mentioning that the new Falkland Islands governor Colin Roberts has proven abilities in highly sensitive political affairs which gives an idea of the importance assigned by the UK to the Islands issue, but it is also a message to take into account.
To this effect he mentions that Mr. Roberts was head of the Central Europe and Central Asia desk and in 2012, head of Overseas Territories. This also reaffirms that despite greater autonomy in the Islands, the governor post is not only representative, but implies a strong presence in foreign affairs and strategy. García Moritán underlines that the recent visit of FCO Minister for Latin America Hugo Swire is further evidence.
All this could be indicating that the UK is intent in beginning a renewed policy towards the Malvinas, more active to compensate the multilateral diplomatic action from Argentina, a fact also to be taken into account.
This leads the Argentine diplomat to believe that confrontation for the sake of confrontation in the South Atlantic must find a more diplomatic path of action, and Buenos Aires should take advantage, and as it has been the case in Argentina diplomatic history, adopt a more persevering strategy directly with the UK.
It is time for Argentina to change diplomatic tactic and try to recreate a link even when it is not formally a dialogue or a negotiation.
To that respect García Moritán mentions several scenarios that do not compromise political positions and could be more constructive. Likewise a silent diplomacy that avoids offences so that the substantive issues can be explored, and then suggests that the 1989 Madrid accord could be an example.
A few days away from a new anniversary, 32nd., of the Malvinas war, as the coming meeting of Pope Francis with Queen Elizabeth II, all indicate that closer links with the UK are more than needed, maybe even full reconciliation, underlines the diplomat.
Finally, a whole generation of Argentines and Brits only know of enmity and recriminations when there has been a long history of great affinities as was evidence, among others, the 1968 Memorandum of Understanding which only needed to fix the date for the definitive transfer of the Malvinas Islands sovereignty to Argentina”.