Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli once again claimed Argentine sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands at the Unasur headquarters in Ecuador and warned that “the usurpation of the Islands affects all of the South American nations” plus insisting on the military/civilian ration in the Islands.
In his first official visit to Unasur seat in Quito, Puricelli took part in a “Strategic Thinking of South America” forum, led by Unasur secretary general María Emma Mejía.
Puricelli urged others to “have a common, strategic thinking among all South American countries” and repeated Argentina’s “legitimate claim” over the Malvinas Islands.
“In our South America there’s only one enclave that isn’t a part of this thinking. And that enclave is the usurpation of American territory, of our Malvinas and South Atlantic islands by the hands of the United Kingdom,” he emphasized.
“This isn’t a matter that only affects us Argentines. This is a situation that, as all presidents in the region have understood, affects all of the South American nations,” he emphasized.
Further on Puricelli said that on average in South America there are 2.7 military for every 1.000 civilians however “in Malvinas also South American territory the ratio is 930 military for every 1,000 inhabitants”.
“We must think a common defence strategy for South America so that our differences can only be resolved by no other mechanism than that of diplomacy”, and recalled President Cristina Fernandez instructions referred to defence policy: “the Argentine armed forces can’t be used as a dissuasion instrument to challenge neighbours”.
“As Minister of Defence I am not authorized to move a single soldier to the border with a dissuasive purpose against any neighbour of Argentina, no matter whatever conduct or circumstances might emerge. We are profoundly convinced that there is no destiny for our countries if we don’t consolidate the paradigm of Unasur presidents: “South America, a peace zone”.
Ecuador Defence minister Javier Ponce Cevallos recalled that the “South American defence council, CDS, was born following deep concern about the possible presence of US military in South American bases” and what is happening now in Malvinas “fully ratifies the need for the defence council and gives it a new substance, a new goal, a new soul to the CDS”.