Brazil reiterated its support for Argentina’s Malvinas Islands sovereignty claim and insisted that solving the controversy with the UK is ‘most important’ for South America’s stability. It also pointed out that it’s not correct to talk about “a blockade”.
“Our position in support of the legitimate rights of Argentina over the Malvinas Islands sovereignty is historic. They come since the English took over the Islands in 1833: the then Brazilian empire, already independent, supported Argentina’s protest in London”, said Benoni Belli head of the Meridian Americas Desk at the Brazilian Foreign Affairs ministry.
Speaking with Veja, Brazil’s weekly magazine with the largest circulation Mr Belli said that the position of Brazil and the other members of Mercosur barring Falklands’ flagged vessels to regional ports is a long standing stance in support of Argentina and comes as no surprise, because South America wants to preserve the region as a zone of peace and prosperity.
“It is not correct to speak about a blockade. What exists is the non acceptance of a flag, so much so that it is not the vessel the objective of the measure, whether it is coming or going to the Malvinas Islands: the purpose of the measure is a flag which pretends to be the legitimate symbol of a territory under sovereignty dispute” said Belli.
He added “it would be incoherent to accept such a symbol; so much so that if vessels change flag, they can have access to all ports of the region”.
While brushing aside pressures from London on the issue of the vessels and Falklands flag according to Belli, the government of Brazil understands that the solution to the Malvinas issue is to preserve the region as a zone of peace and prosperity.
“This is most important. When we refer to the issue Brazil always has that long term objective in mind. It is a territorial dispute in South America which we want to see resolved, in the shortest time possible. If this happens we all win with a region ever more pacific and stable”, underlined the Brazilian diplomat.