Argentina informed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of a letter from the United Kingdom referred to missile test firing in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands, which it wishes to circulate among IMO members as a way to warn of the deliberate violation of IMO regulations by the British government.
The Argentine government also requested the letter be included in IMO agenda for immediate debate, and that the organization reiterates to Britain the fact that since 1974 Argentina is responsible for the safety of navigation in the Southwest Atlantic.
According to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, the British government presented a letter on October 21 in response to the Argentine protest regarding the announcement of missiles firing from the Malvinas Islands between October 11 and 23 of the current year.
As a response, the British government assured it has been carrying out these kinds of exercises for almost three decades, although it explicitly recognized it has never deliberately communicated these activities in the past, the text read.
It adds that the Argentine government has answered the British letter by rejecting its content and reiterating that the current military exercises violate the obligation not to innovate recognized in Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly, of the object and purpose of the existing measures to build confidence in the military field, and of the IMO regulations regarding the safety of life at sea.
The Argentine response also mentions the international community's rejection of these kinds of practices, as well as that of the militarization of the area where they are to be held. All of this was made public through declarations from Mercosur, Unasur, Grupo de Río and the OAS Secretary General.
Likewise, the letter from the Argentine government claims Argentine sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, and South Sandwich, along with the surrounding maritime areas that make up part of the “national Argentine territory”.
At the beginning of the month, London began military exercises in the archipelago, which led to wide-spread criticisms, mainly from the Argentine government, which considered that these manoeuvres are a provocation and a violation of UN regulations.
The Foreign Office and the Falklands’ elected government downplayed Argentine protests recalling that the exercises are “routine” and have been so for the last 28 years, since the establishment of a British military airport (MPA) following the end of the 1982 conflict when Argentine military forces invaded the Islands and were defeated in a 74 day war by a Task Force by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.