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Montevideo, December 13th 2017 - 09:25 UTC

UK twice offered to return Malvinas, but twice Argentina rejected, now it's a fifty year game

Monday, April 3rd 2017 - 09:07 UTC
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Cisneros who is considered knowledgeable in Malvinas affairs worked with Di Tella during the government of ex president Carlos Menem Cisneros who is considered knowledgeable in Malvinas affairs worked with Di Tella during the government of ex president Carlos Menem
The first offer occurred in 1974, when Argentine ex president Juan Domingo Perón had returned to office and the British ambassador was Sir Donald Hopson The first offer occurred in 1974, when Argentine ex president Juan Domingo Perón had returned to office and the British ambassador was Sir Donald Hopson
The second offer was in 1979, the “messenger” then was former deputy Foreign secretary Nicholas Ridley, and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. The second offer was in 1979, the “messenger” then was former deputy Foreign secretary Nicholas Ridley, and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.

“Twice Great Britain offered to return Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty to Argentina, and Argentina frustrated the two opportunities”, and one of those offers involved the government of Margaret Thatcher, revealed diplomat Andrés Cisneros, Argentine deputy foreign minister with Guido Di Tella in the nineties.

 Sunday, April 2nd, marked the 35th anniversary of the Argentine military invasion of the Falklands in 1982 and as such both the British and Argentine media have recalled events with ample coverage.

Cisneros who is considered knowledgeable in Malvinas affairs and worked with Di Tella during the government of ex president Carlos Menem was interviewed on the issue and mentioned the two opportunities.

Accordingly the first offer occurred in 1974, when Argentine ex president Juan Domingo Perón had returned to office and the British ambassador was Sir Donald Hopson who presented the initiative to then foreign minister Alberto Vignes.

“The idea was a leaseback, by which UK recognized Argentine sovereignty of Malvinas, but it became effective a hundred years later”.

“The second offer was very similar”, says Cisneros who recalled that the “messenger” then was former deputy Foreign secretary Nicholas Ridley in 1979. Argentina was ruled by a military Junta which frustrated the initiative by saying 'yes we accept the return of full sovereignty, but not in a hundred years, make it at the end of the year'“

It was a way of saying no, explained Cisneros who then added, and ”do you know who was prime minister then, Margaret Thatcher“.

Following these frustrations, according to Cisneros the invasion and war launched by General Leopoldo Galtieri and Admiral Jorge Anaya, caused ”terrible, incalculable damage“, but nevertheless ”we must continue with the claim“.

Cisneros admits he is not sure if some day the Islands will be ”returned“ to Argentina, ”I don't see much chances, probabilities, but we can reach an honorable agreement representing the interests of both sides“

As to the chances of Argentine claims, Cisneros warned that the international scenario is changing: ”it's more complicated“ from the moment that the country is claiming ”territorial rights, which are evident“ but in the world the significance of these rights is losing ground, while there is a greater priority for peoples' rights which evidently directly influences the claim of the Islanders who reject point blank Argentine citizenship.

”Anyhow, I think there are good expectations, and if the issue is well addressed it will be solved sometime in fifty years time“.

In the short term Cisneros said that claiming sovereignty now, and demanding it now, is useless, since the British will remain closed to any suggestions on the matter on those terms. Therefore, ”we must establish a cooperation, understanding relation, without dropping the sovereignty claim”.

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  • Pete Bog

    @golfcronie

    ”what the Argentine government can bring to the negociating table that would be “ in the interests of the FALKLANDER ISLANDERS ”

    I'm waiting as well.

    The Argentine attitude appears to be offering the same as in the 1970s, (flights from Argentina, oil supplies, fruit, University, schooling medical help etc etc).

    But the stakes are raised because the Islanders now have access to all these and would have had if the decrepid British governments of the 1970s had approved Shackelton's recommendation for an international length runway for Stanley.

    I don't think Argentina is capable of working out that the interests of the Falkland Islanders can't be automatically translated as Argentina's interests.

    The interests of the Islanders can only be defined by the Islanders.

    In my opinion, it is in Argentina's interests to be friendly with the Islanders, so they can make money out of the Islands by providing and getting paid for labour, services and goods.

    However , an Argentine might say it is in their interests to maintain a farcical claim on the Falklands for the next million years, getting sweet FA from the islands, whilst wasting millions of pesos on a claim they cannot win.

    I therefore would have to give way to Argentina getting nothing whatsoever from the Islands, because as an Englishman I cannot define what 'Argentine interests' are.

    Apr 03rd, 2017 - 11:20 am +5
  • Roger Lorton

    Offered? Now there's another distortion. Options were put forward - all subject to a veto by the Islanders. All likely to be vetoed by the Islanders. There were never any “offers” to cede the Falklands. Risible

    Apr 03rd, 2017 - 01:57 pm +5
  • Brit Bob

    Cisneros admits he is not sure if some day the Islands will be ”returned“ to Argentina.

    Can't 'return something' that has never been owned.

    Falklands- Never Belonged to Argentina:
    https://www.academia.edu/31111843/Falklands_Never_Belonged_to_Argentina

    Apr 03rd, 2017 - 09:30 am +4
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