British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Sunday laid a wreath to honor Argentine soldiers fallen while fighting the British in the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict. Johnson, who is in Buenos Aires for a Group of 20 meeting, visited the Monument of the Fallen Soldiers on Sunday along with Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.
Argentina, which has claimed the South Atlantic islands since Britain established its rule in the 19th century, invaded them in 1982, sparking a two-month war that ended with Argentina's defeat and withdrawal from the archipelago.
Johnson is only the second senior British official to pay tribute to the 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers who died during the 74-day conflict. Prince Charles visited so at the same monument during a visit in 1999.
During the visit Foreign secretary Johnson will represent the UK at G20 summit, on Monday 21 May, and hold bilateral meetings with President Mauricio Macri and Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.
Speaking on arrival in Argentina Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:
The relationship between the UK and Argentina has come a long way over the past few years and this visit will be an opportunity to build on and enhance ever closer co-operation on trade, investment, cultural ties, tackling corruption and organized crime, and increasing links in science and technology.
As the UK leaves the European Union, my message is that the UK is open for business. I look forward to a new chapter in our relationship, and booming trade prospects, after the UK leaves the European Union.
In the first visit by a British Foreign Secretary to Argentina in 22 years, Mr. Johnson joined Foreign Minister Faurie, Defense Minister Aguad and Security Minister Patricia Bullrich at a ceremony at the ‘Monument to the Fallen’.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony Foreign Secretary Johnson said it is an honor to join Foreign Minister Faurie today, and to lay a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen, commemorating all those who died in the Falkland Islands conflict.
On Monday (21 May) Mr Johnson will attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, a summit for 19 countries and the European Union, which will focus on the themes of “Multilateralism and Global Governance” and “Action for a Fair and Sustainable Development”.
The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Spain is a permanent invited guest to G20 meetings and this year Argentina has also invited Chile, the Netherlands, Jamaica (representing the CARICOM), Rwanda (representing the African Union), Senegal (representing NEPAD) and Singapore (representing ASEAN) to attend.