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UK is open to bilateral talks with Argentina on any issue except Falklands’ sovereignty

Saturday, February 11th 2012 - 01:34 UTC
Full article 311 comments
Ambassador Lyall Grant, there is no need for ”third-party mediation Ambassador Lyall Grant, there is no need for ”third-party mediation

UN British ambassador warned Argentina on Friday that Britain would “robustly” defend the Falkland Islands if necessary, but added that his country remained open to bilateral talks with Buenos Aires on any issue except the Islands' sovereignty.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant was speaking to reporters after Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the UN Security Council to ask for help in stopping what he said was Britain's “militarization of the South Atlantic”.

“We are not looking to increase the war of words, but clearly if there is an attempt to take advantage of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war by Argentina, then we will obviously defend our position and defend it robustly” Lyall Grant said.

The British envoy's comments came a day after British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to defend the Islands “properly.

Tensions have risen before the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict this year. Oil exploration by British companies off the islands has raised the stakes.

Lyall Grant denied militarizing the region and said Britain had a ”purely defensive military posture“ for the Islands. He neither confirmed nor denied reports a nuclear-armed British submarine is lurking around the Falklands.

”We do not comment on the disposition of nuclear weapons, submarines, et cetera,“ he said. ”But it is well known that ... as part of our overall defensive posture, there are submarines on patrol all around the world at any time. So it's not a question of anything new in what he (Timerman) is suggesting,“ Lyall Grant added.

Security Council action on Argentina's complaint is very unlikely given Britain's veto on the 15-nation panel.

Minister Timerman said he welcomed Ban's offer to mediate in the dispute.

”Argentina agrees that the secretary-general should begin conversations with both countries so that we can sit down at a table ... to resolve this conflict in a peaceful way,“ he said.

Lyall Grant said Britain was open to bilateral talks with Argentina and there was no need for ”third-party mediation.“ He said it was Buenos Aires, not London that was preventing talks aimed at defusing the tensions between the two nations.

”We have always been open to dialogue with Argentina. ... We had a dialogue with Argentina and they broke it off,“ he said, adding that ”we are not going to discuss sovereignty.“

Lyall Grant said one of the problems in restarting talks with Buenos Aires was a 1994 amendment to Argentina's constitution requiring that the government seek sovereignty over the Islands.

”We have made clear that we are not prepared to go into talks with the precondition that has been set in the Argentine constitution and discuss sovereignty over the heads of the people of the Falkland Islands,” he said.

Top Comments

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    I can't be the only one who thinks the Argentine government is a bunch of looneys and collectively needs some urgent psychiatic treatment. I just read a blog on La Nacion saying the next thing Tinman will be saying is that the Falklanders have developed their own atom bomb. More and more Argies are seeing through the garbage.

    Feb 11th, 2012 - 01:57 am 0
  • Helber Galarga

    UN British ambassador warned Argentina on Friday that Britain would “robustly” defend the Falkland Islands if necessary

    This is a big time scale idiot if I ever saw one!

    How many times must Argentine authorities say that there will be no use of force? How many fu@#en times before it finally f@#ken sinks in?

    What an idiot..

    Feb 11th, 2012 - 02:04 am 0
  • Lord Ton

    He's made you idiot look even worse though Helter :-)

    Feb 11th, 2012 - 02:16 am 0
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