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Montevideo, May 23rd 2019 - 00:56 UTC

Argentine protests Falklands oil drilling before the Rio Group and UN

Thursday, February 18th 2010 - 01:17 UTC
Full article 60 comments
Jorge Taiana begins next week a diplomatic blitzkrieg Jorge Taiana begins next week a diplomatic blitzkrieg

Argentina will be pressing next Monday for support from Latinamerica and the Caribbean, and on Wednesday at United Nations, in its dispute over the oil drilling round about to being in the Falkland Islands.

Foreign Affairs minister Jorge Taiana is participating Monday and Tuesday of the Rio Group that brings together twenty countries from the region and is meeting in Mexico. The agenda includes Haiti’s reconstruction and the regional political balance but Taiana is expected to have the Falklands’ issue added.

Since it was born unpresumptuous in the eighties the Rio Group has been quite successful in defusing regional armed conflicts, mainly in Central American and lately in keeping at bay the ongoing Venezuela and Colombia confrontation.

A strong declaration in support of Argentina’s position calling for sovereignty negotiations on the Falklands dispute with Britain, based on UN resolutions, and condemnation of UK’s unilateral actions in the South Atlantic can be expected.

On Wednesday Taiana has a meeting scheduled with UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon when Argentina will again denounce Britain’s decision to endorse oil exploratory drilling in the Falklands’ maritime jurisdiction.

The Argentine diplomatic blitzkrieg will only escalate the current confrontation with London over the oil exploration round and the development of an oil industry in the Falklands, which Britain openly supports as legitimate, based on the Islanders right to self determination and UK sovereignty over the Islands.

On Wednesday Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed a decree establishing that all maritime trade or business with Falklands’ ports and/or crossing of Argentine waters needs a formal authorization from the Argentine government, since the disputed Islands are an integral part of Argentine territory.

Argentina’s main argument against the oil drilling round by “British companies” in Falklands’ waters is that they do not abide by the reiterated UN resolutions.

In response to the Argentine government position and latest decree, Foreign Office Minster Chris Bryant said that UK “have no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and we're clear that the Falkland Islands Government is entitled to develop a hydrocarbons industry within its waters. The Falkland Islands territorial waters are controlled by the Islands' authorities”

However in a conciliatory note Minister Bryant added that it must not be ignored that Argentina and the UK are important partners.

“We have a close and productive relationship on a range of issues: in the G20, on climate change, sustainable development and counter-proliferation. We would like to add South Atlantic issues to that list and will work to develop the relationship further. If that could be made to work, it would be good for all concerned” said Bryant.

Meantime Desire Petroleum the British company that contracted the oil rig “Ocean Guardian” which is expected to begin exploratory drilling in Falklands’ waters next week fully ratified its plans.

“All this is most unfortunate, but has been anticipated for months. Desire’s logistics has not been affected”, said a spokesperson for the company.

Top Comments

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  • nitrojuan

    ”If the Isle of Man was won in a war by Argentina and the people on the Isle of Man considered themselves to be Argentinian would the UK be content to let them be? I don't think anyone would let that stand.
    Argentina wants to protect their national interests, which would be taking the Falklands. The UK wants to protect it's national interests.
    This goes beyond the Falklands, without the Falklands, the UK has no claims to Antarctica a resource Gold mine in the coming years. Simple.
    Ray, North Carolina, US

    Feb 18th, 2010 - 01:42 am 0
  • Steve

    I've read a lot of jingoism on the internet as of late from Brits claiming they would kick the Argies ass..etc if this issue escalated to a military conflict like in 1982. Never at a time in history has there ever been such a left leaning group of countries in Latin America as we have now. Argentina can count on more support than they ever had in the past regarding the sovereignty issue...even Chile now supports Argentina's claim. With Hugo Chavez in the mix anything can happen. Years ago in Peru I met a Peruvian Air Force fighter pilot who claimed he had flown on behalf of the Argentine Air Force during the Falklands War. I was shown some photos and this fellow pretty much convinced me of his claim. He said he was not the only Peruvian to do so. I don't think the Peruvian govt would ever admit this. I 'm sure old Hugo Chavez is chomping at the bit. That idiot has been looking for a fight and just may be foolish enough to get involved in this issue. Also Peru has built up a pretty good military due to their border issues with Chile and Ecuador. Argentina would not be hurting for miltary hardware and support if this thing ever escalates...which personally I don't think it will ,but the Brits need not get too cocky. I wouldn't have any faith in Obama, he's no Ronald Reagan.

    Feb 18th, 2010 - 03:43 am 0
  • Robert

    I think a Hong Kong type solution of some sort should be reached in regards to the Falklands/Malvinas issue. Having access to mainland ports will help with oil exploration and enhance the Islanders quality of life. Allow them to remain British, give Argentina joint sovereignty and split the natural resources. A solution will have to eventually be found...if not the spectar of conflict will always be lurking.

    Feb 18th, 2010 - 04:46 am 0
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