Argentina is not interested in Malvinizing relations with the United Kingdom, but bilateral links have fallen hostage of London's no negotiations policy over the Falkland Islands' sovereignty, claims one of Argentina's top diplomats.
Hours before the 25th anniversary of the Argentine landing in the Falklands, (April 2) Eduardo Airaldi Director of the Malvinas Desk in Argentina's Foreign Affairs ministry said that "we don't want to fall in the "Malvinization" of relations with the UK, but it's the British government that has the relation hostage in the sovereignty dispute". Meeting with the foreign press at the Palacio San Martin seat of the Foreign Affairs ministry, and next to Argentine ambassador in Colombia, former Army chief and Malvinas veteran General Martin Balza, Airaldi denied any stiffening of Argentina's stance in the dispute with Britain over the Falklands and other South Atlantic islands. "It's the British government that has systematically denied to recover bilateral relations in the issue and has refused to cooperate in a genuine manner", said Airaldi in reference to the withdrawal of Argentina from cooperation agreements in fisheries and oil following on London's "unilateral" actions and decisions. "The British approach in cooperation policies is not the "win/win" relation normally expected from any bilateral diplomatic relation, but rather "they win, we loose", complained Airaldi. "Argentina wishes genuine cooperation with the United Kingdom in practical affairs which extend from the existence of the sovereignty dispute", added Airaldi defining the President Nestor Kirchner administration Malvinas policy. "We must necessarily create the appropriate conditions for a negotiation". Airaldi recalled that Argentina's claim for sovereignty negotiations and a peaceful solution to the dispute has the support from the United Nations, Organization of American States, Mercosur, South American Community of Nations and the Ibero-American summit, which includes Spain and Portugal. As to future Argentine diplomatic actions which were anticipated a few weeks ago by Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Taiana, Airaldi underlined "perseverance in Argentina's actions and the determination to proceed according to diplomatic channels and in the framework of UN resolutions and the Argentine constitution". Local diplomacy must "permanently and insistently find the way to have the UK sit at the diplomatic negotiation table" as happened between 1966 and 1982, following of the 1965 UN resolution and with the commitment of "guaranteeing the interests of the inhabitants of the Islands". Airaldi argued Argentina also wants cooperation to benefit mostly the interests of the inhabitants of the Islands, respecting their style of life, "but always in the path to a solution to the sovereignty dispute and improving and advancing relations with the UK". Twenty five years after the conflict, "this government and all those that follow will never drop claims over the Islands sovereignty", but simultaneously "we're not going to adopt any policy that could be harmful to the interests of the Islanders", added Airaldi. Ambassador Balza and a former artillery captain in the Malvinas conflict said that looking back 25 years his opinion on the war remains unchanged: "we were involved in an absurd war, totally unexpected for which the Argentine Armed Forces were not prepared". Balza added that the war was a "prolongation of the fall of the Military Junta, usurper of constitutional power, followed by a retinue of complacent and obsequious high commands" in the three services. The former general asked to mark a difference between "the solider that fought with spirit, professionalism, enthusiasm and loyalty, and the incompetence and political, diplomatic and military ineptitude of the national strategy". Finally Balza underlined the respect between Argentina and British troops during the whole conflict in the Falklands saying it was a "war with no hatred" in which both sides abided international humanitarian Law.