Chilean former Foreign Affairs minister and ambassador before the UN, Juan Gabriel Valdes has called for Chileans to adopt the Argentine sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands --disputed with the UK--, as a “Chilean cause”.
In an article published in the Santiago conservative daily El Mercurio, Valdes points out that Chile recently made the presentation of the Argentine case before several international organizations emphasizing on the need for a peaceful solution to the longstanding dispute.
Valdes mentioned that Chilean Foreign Affairs minister Alfredo Moreno said Chile had complied on 21 December “with the first action, in the international arena of the recently created in Caracas, of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Celac” in support of Argentina’s claim over the Malvinas sovereignty.
Moreno at the time reported that in December the Chilean ambassador before the UN had met with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to request a renewal of efforts in search for a peaceful solution to the conflict, following on what was discussed and decided in Caracas.
“It is important that currently Chile should be heading those presentations before international organizations, and that our State policy in support of the unrenounceable principle of Argentine sovereignty over the Islands should be known by Chileans and Argentines”, underlined the former Chilean minister.
The issue is highly sensitive for Chile and Argentina since memories are still fresh that Pinochet’s Chile was an ally of Great Britain during the Malvinas conflict in 1982, when Argentina was defeated in its attempt to recover the territories by appealing to force.
In the article the former minister blasted the UK for announcing the launching of missiles from the Malvinas territory and for authorizing natural resources exploration companies to operate in Argentine waters, but on the other hand praised that at the recent Mercosur summit held in Montevideo, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay agreed to bar from their ports all Malvinas flagged vessels”.
Valdes added that a group of distinguished Chileans from different cultural and political backgrounds have been meeting to express the need to make public this Argentine cause, in Chile.
“We will do it supporting the principle that a patriotic feeling of such significance for our neighbours, such is the peaceful recovery of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, constitutes by definition a cause that also belongs to Chileans”, concluded the former Foreign Affairs minister.
Socialist Valdes has a MA in Latinamerican Studies from the University of Essex and a PhD in Political Science from Princeton, US, and was Foreign Affairs minister when the arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in Britain.