British ambassador in Argentina Mark Kent has said that conflict policies lead nowhere, Argentina and the UK have different positions on the Falkland Islands sovereignty, but it is up to the Islanders to decide on their future. Anyhow bilateral relations have significantly improved with great prospects for trade, investments and cooperation.
Ambassador Kent visited this week the northern province of Salta where he met local officials, business organizations to talk about increasing trade, investments and cooperation, and also shared lunch at the main daily El Tribuno, where he addressed some on the contentious issues.
Regarding Falklands/Malvinas, we have many things in common, and we also have different points of view as to sovereignty. There are areas where we can work jointly and some very important such as with the Red Cross to identify the remains of Argentine soldiers, fallen in 1982, and buried at the Darwin Cemetery. We must support humanitarian initiatives and we are progressing, but we must also look at other areas of pragmatic cooperation, such as closer contacts with the Islands and understand that the 3.500 population have rights, hopes, deciding on their future, and we are going to continue working in that area since conflict policies are of no advantage and lead nowhere
Ambassador Kent underlined that the Islanders future depends on the Islanders, and this is the most important fact, but contacts are ongoing, such as last December when several issues were addressed including the accord with Argentina and the Red Cross, and in effect, it is always best to have communication channels than not to have them.
And specifically on the Falklands' sovereignty, both sides have their positions, and when we meet, we clearly establish our positions regarding sovereignty, Argentina has its position and we have ours.
As to the work of the Red Cross and the identification task, ambassador Kent said he had no additional information but is in contact with the families of the fallen, we have received the representatives from the veterans and families, and this is most important particularly to be aware of the wishes of the families, which will have an important role in the future.
Speaking of Argentina's part and new approach in the world stage, ambassador Kent said that the international community sees with positive eyes the fact Argentina wants to develop, and the UK in particular supports the country's participation in UN peace keeping operations, in world development and security affairs, as well as in human rights and combating corruption and the drugs trade.
It is important for Argentina to open to foreign investments, to have greater transparency and greater legal security, and is all these reforms the country is advancing, and in coming months Argentina will have the responsibility of hosting the WTO ministerial meeting, and will assume the presidency of the G20.
Argentina will play a great role in the discussions on the challenges facing the world such as the future of employment and jobs, and inclusive development.
Regarding trade UK supports all solutions that involve free and open trade. Protectionism does not lead to progress, rather the contrary, so we are committed to a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. We support open economies in Latin America, Mercosur and the European Union.
As to UK/Argentina trade relations there is a high level of complementation, the country is rich in food products, minerals, and UK is a leading market for Argentine wines. Ambassador Kent also mentioned that tourism is expected to increase with more daily flights between London and Buenos Aires. Argentina is a spectacular country.