MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 29th 2023 - 13:26 UTC



Argentine claims of Falklands’ ‘militarization’ is ‘unfounded and baseless’

Friday, February 24th 2012 - 07:46 UTC
Full article 40 comments
Ambassador Lyall-Grant sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon explaining Falklands’ British sovereignty  Ambassador Lyall-Grant sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon explaining Falklands’ British sovereignty

Argentine claims that the UK is ‘militarizing’ the South Atlantic and the Falklands are ‘unfounded’ and ‘baseless’ according to a letter from British ambassador Mark Lyall-Grant addressed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“Argentine claims of militarization of the South Atlantic by the UK are unfounded and baseless” writes the British diplomat in his letter to Ban Ki-moon, a copy of which has been revealed by the Spanish news agency, EFE.

In the five pages letter dated 22 February Lyall-Grant states that the UK government “has no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falkland, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, as of the adjoining maritime spaces”.

Argentina claims the Malvinas arguing they were ousted from the Islands in 1833 by the British Almost 150 years later, in 1982 the Argentine military Junta invaded the Falklands and occupied them for 74 days until the surrender to a Task Force sent by the British government to recover the Islands.

In the letter Lyall-Grant indicates that the principle of self determination enshrined in the UN chart supports the UK position regarding the sovereignty over the Islands that “will continue to be British” and underlines “there will be no sovereignty negotiations until the people of the Falklands so decide it”.

Buenos Aires/London tension has escalated since the Argentine government protested to the UN what it describes as the “militarization” of the South Atlantic by the UK, based on the fact that London is sending to the Falklands its most modern destroyer, HMS Dauntless, and Prince William, heir of the British throne, is currently based in the Islands as part of his training as a Search and Rescue helicopter pilot.

However, the UK government argues that the military presence in the Falklands was ‘minimum’ until the Argentine invasion of the Islands thirty years ago and was only increased following the conflict given the “continuous and direct threat from Argentina to the Islands and its inhabitants”.

Ambassador Lyall-Grant requests Ban Ki-moon to distribute the letter in the UN General Assembly and sternly denies the UK intends air and maritime control of the South Atlantic, and at the same time accuses Argentina of trying to do precisely that with the implementation of presidential decree 256.

The UK also denies having introduced nuclear weapons to the area as the Argentine government claims and reiterates the UK will not use or threaten with nuclear weapons signatory States with no nuclear armament, in abidance with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, NPT.

“Since Nestor Kirchner and later Cristina Kirchner took office, Argentina has withdrawn from bilateral discussions including the bilateral military programs in 2008”, points out the letter adding that the UK last diplomatic dialogue offer was extended to Buenos Aires in 2010, but Argentina ‘did not reply’.

Lyall-Grant adds that UK believes there are many cooperation opportunities in the South Atlantic in spite of the fact that Argentina dropped out from the South Atlantic Joint Fisheries Committee and has deliberately extended the fishing seasons in those waters.

Finally Argentina has also rejected the joint declaration on hydrocarbons for cooperation in energy resources, besides having banned since 2003 all charter flights to the Falklands that must cross through Argentine air space, and has passed laws penalizing companies making business in the Falklands, among other measures which can only be described of great concern.


Full text of letter:

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • GreekYoghurt

    ”Dear Kim-moon,

    Why isn't Dokdo on the list of places to decolonise? It has two people living on it and you clearly stole it off the Japanese? with this in mind, why the hell is the UN going against it's founding principle of Self Determination and pandering to any old group of Nazis who turn up out of history and want to do some land-grabbing? and why is the C24 not doing what it's supposed to do??

    Thanks in advance for actually clearing up these major points, rather than just sitting on your arse like you currently seem to be.


    Mark LG

    Feb 24th, 2012 - 08:24 am 0
  • Musky

    Thanks Ambassador Grant, Britain once again conforms to the letter of the law whereas Argentina digs itself into the deepest of holes. Argentina should move forward and form good relationships with the Falklands instead of backward with all that angst.

    Feb 24th, 2012 - 10:13 am 0
  • GreekYoghurt

    The good thing about having an ambassador like Ambassador Grant is that he calmly lays down the facts, and lets you decide who is making up the truth.

    Conversely, the one of the many bad things about Sr. Timerman is that you cannot trust a single word that comes out of the man's mouth. He just rants slogans and points at pictures of things he doesn't know about.

    That's the difference between a good and a bad diplomat.

    Feb 24th, 2012 - 10:35 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!