In an interview with La Nación in London, outgoing British Ambassador in Argentina William Mardsen said he didn't anticipate changes in the near future concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. He added that Islanders want to remain British and that much progress can still be achieved between Britain and Argentina in the South Atlantic fisheries, oil and cooperation to eliminate mine fields in the Islands.
Just a few days to go before his retirement after holding the Buenos Aires post for almost three years, Ambassador Mardsen told La Nación, "I don't expect to see changes in the current positions of both governments regarding the Falkland Islands sovereignty issue in a near future. The 1982 conflict changed the situation drastically, but we must continue to work to recover mutual trust".
"We will continue to advance in those areas where we can reach agreements of mutual interest. This requires imagination and flexibility from both sides, while at the same time we protect our positions regarding sovereignty".
Ambassador Mardsen was in London for what was described as a summing up speech of his diplomatic responsibility in Buenos Aires, before the Argentine-British Center. "The Islanders want to remain British, that's their decision, but we must persist in developing practical cooperation links to protect fisheries, which will benefit both sides".
Further on Ambassador Mardsen said it would be positive that "the United Kingdom and Argentine governments cooperate in plans to eliminate mines planted in the Islands during the conflict as well as promoting other activities such as joint oil exploration in the so called special cooperation area. It's ambitious, but it would prove that we can work together in a political and technical complex situation".
"It would also be good if our Armed Forces could work together in the Southern Atlantic providing more safety to vessels and aircrafts", stressed Ambassador Mardsen adding that he would also like to see more friendly contacts between private Argentine citizens and Islanders.
According to the La Nación interview, Ambassador Mardsen revealed that following Mr. Guido Di Tella's footsteps, current Argentine Foreign Secretary Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini posted copies of "Martín Fierro", a classic of gaucho literature, to Islanders.
Mr. Mardsen will be 60 on September 15th., and will be replaced by Ambassador Robin Christopher the following 17th..