FALKLAND Islanders feel strongly about their commercial links with Chile, said British Ambassador to Chile Howard Drake today, when commenting on his familiarisation visit to the islands.
"There's a lot of business going on with Southern Chile and clearly the economic link is a good one for the Falklands." Asked about Chile's consistent support of the Argentine sovereignty claim to the Falklands, Mr Drake simply said, "Chile's view is in common with the rest of South AmericaÃÂ¢€Ã‚Â¦ I try to ensure that they fully understand the UK position and the view of Falkland Islanders." Mr Drake explained that the visit will assist him in this task, in that he has had the opportunity to speak to Islanders and hear, "ÃÂ¢€Ã‚Â¦many shades of opinion," as well as listen to Chilean members of the community. Of the latter he said, "I was surprised at how long many of them have been here," adding, "ÃÂ¢€Ã‚Â¦They have found the welcome they have received here remarkable." Asked if he felt councillors should concentrate on taking the Falklands message to South America he said, "It is not for me to advise councillors, however, when they have passed through it has always been shown to be very useful when Falkland Islanders explain their own point of view." Mr Drake said he had spoken to councillors on a number of issues including 'how the Falklands is perceived in Chile' and tourism development. By Lisa Jonhston – SeAled PR - Stanley