Argentina formally accepted Wednesday apologies from the Spanish government which admitted having committed a “protocol error” on allowing the presence of a delegation from the Falkland Islands in an international fisheries sustainability conference, reports Efe, the Spanish government news agency quoting the head of Argentina’s Fisheries Department Norberto Yauhar.
Argentine representatives participating together with delegations from fifty countries in the fisheries conference, convened by Spain’s Rural and Marine Environment ministry Elena Espinosa were surprised on entering the hall to find a delegation from the Falkland Islands, with their own flag, sitting round the table at the same level as the rest of participant countries.
The Argentine delegation walked out of the meeting at the opening of the conference and following on the Argentine protest the organizers of the conference withdrew the Falklands flag and stand from the adjoining show.
Argentina claims sovereignty over the South Atlantic Islands which have been under the British flag since early XIXth century and in 1982 went to war following the landing of Argentine troops in the Falklands and South Georgia.
Mr. Yauhar is quoted by Efe saying that the Spanish Foreign Affairs ministry has formally apologized to the Argentine embassy in Madrid.
“Minister Espinosa with whom I also spoke personally has apologized for the “protocol error”, which we have accepted”, said Yauhar. He added that the presence of a delegation from the Falkland Islands in the conference was “unacceptable” for Argentina. The conference on fisheries sustainability also includes a delegation from the autonomous territory of Greenland which depends from Denmark.
Over twelve ministers, plus high ranking officials and representatives from international and multilateral organizations are present at the conference which is addressing issues referred to a sustained management of fisheries and conservation.
The Argentine delegation, which walked out of the opening ceremony headed by Spanish Minister Espinosa, following official apologies and the withdrawal of the Falklands flag and delegation from the conference room “have decided to continue participating of the official program”, said Yauhar.