Argentina’s Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman has a challenging and fragile mission in Bolivia: to obtain strong support from the OAS general assembly for Argentina’s claim over the Falklands/Malvinas’ sovereignty ahead of the UN decolonization meeting in New York which President Cristina Fernandez has promised to attend.
Above all Timerman must try and overcome the failure of a similar attempt at the recent Summit of the Americas in Colombia when it was not possible (for Timerman and President Cristina Fernandez) to collect the solid support of all the attending presidents, stamped on an official declaration, to further advance in Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Falklands/Malvinas and the president’s medium term policy on the issue.
In Colombia the position of the US, with President Barrack Obama attending, was crucial together with that of Canada and several Caribbean nations that remain loyal to the UK or are members of the Commonwealth.
In just over a week (June 14) President Cristina Fernandez will be addressing the C24 committee, first time a ruling president makes such a presentation, demanding that the UK sits at the negotiation table to dialogue over the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty as repeated declarations from the UN recommend. A fresh solid declaration of support from OAS member countries would make her message allegedly even more emphatic.
But as in Colombia the US delegation has anticipated it will remain neutral about the Falklands/Malvinas issue. The US position has not changed with respect to the Falklands: “it is an issue that should be resolved between Argentina and Britain”, that means bilateral dialogue. In Colombia President Obama, who met with his Argentine peer Cristina Fernandez said “we’re going to remain neutral; this is not something that we typically intervene in”.
“We have good relations with Argentina and Britain and we hope they are capable of continuing the dialogue on the issue”, insisted Obama in Cartagena.
This was one of the main issues (together with Cuba) that impeded at the Colombian summit the drafting of a declaration of support for Argentina or at least calling on both sides to sit down and resume negotiations on the Falklands’ sovereignty.
Cristina Kirchner is scheduled to arrive in New York with a group of Malvinas veterans and seven Malvinas Solidarity committees which were specially created this year to give her speech before the decolonization committee.
Normally Foreign ministers or country ambassadors before the UN address the C24, but on this occasion Argentina to further press the point, will be represented by President Cristina Fernandez but also with little latitude for last minute damage control since Argentina currently has no ambassador before the UN because Jorge Argüello was upgrades to ambassador in Washington.
Nevertheless, according to the Buenos Aires media, ambassador Argüello is an essential piece in this script since he organized the trip to the C24 and has scheduled a private lunch for the Argentine president with thirty first line US CEOs plus industry and finance leaders.
An interesting challenge for Timerman and Argüello if things do not work out as planned and programmed for the Argentine president.