Leaving aside the current diplomatic situation with the UK because of the Uruguayan government decision to bar Malvinas’ flagged vessels from local ports, “we have a very good dialogue with Great Britain” said Uruguayan Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro.
“There is a very specific issue with separates us and that is the Malvinas question, but this was not invented by President (Jose Mujica) and Minister Almagro, it has always been the country’s position”, said Almagro in an interview published Monday with the government newspaper La Republica.
Almagro admitted that the Uruguayan government was well aware the decision was not going to amuse the UK, “we expected a statement and they have acted with most respect, correctly and dialogue instances remain open. There is no diplomatic cataclysm”.
However the Uruguayan top official warned about the intention of certain groups “to present this situation (barring Falklands’ vessels from the port of Montevideo) as an alignment with Argentine policy, and this is mere nonsense, a superficial comment which lacks complete political criteria and honestly, it leaves me perplexed”, adding that the Uruguayan position has been supported and endorsed by all countries members of Unasur and Mercosur.
Regarding the Uruguayan opposition criticisms Almagro said he has “no inconveniences with the positions expressed publicly by the leaders of the opposition”, but warned of the existence of miniscule groups that want to present all this as an ‘anti-Argentine feeling’.
“I can’t be affected by those remarks, some might say stupidities, but I have to continue working and building, day after day”, underlined Almagro.
The Foreign Minister revealed that the complementary measures in support for Argentina’s Falklands’ sovereignty claim was agreed at the Anchorena summit in June 2010 when the presidents of Uruguay and Argentina, Jose Mujica and Cristina Fernandez met at the Uruguayan presidency camp residence.
“If you look over the twenty odd points of the Anchorena summit’s agenda you will see that most referred to issues of importance for Uruguay, except Malvinas and some other minor issues which were of interest to Argentina”, said Almagro.
Finally in reference to the frustrated attempt, sponsored by President Mujica, to have Venezuela fully incorporated to Mercosur, Almagro said that at the summit there was no intention of ruling over the Paraguayan congress that rejects the full membership of Venezuela as long as Hugo Chavez is president, whom they accuse of persecuting political opponents and limiting freedom of expression and freedom of the pres.
“That was not our intention because the political tempos must be respected. It is more important the coordinated action of all countries to reach the full membership of Venezuela than an intermediate solution” said Almagro.
Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo who approved the full membership of Venezuela to Mercosur and openly supports it, however has lost control of Congress and has been unable to have the bill presented. Furthermore the Senate warned that Lugo would be exposed to impeachment if he backed any Mercosur resolution by-passing the Paraguayan Senate.