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Montevideo, April 22nd 2019 - 12:18 UTC

“An agreement over the Falklands is a matter of time”, says world affairs analyst

Monday, June 18th 2012 - 03:12 UTC
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Ivan Briscoe, member of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague Ivan Briscoe, member of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague

Analyst of the Investigation Conflicts Unit at The Hague, Ivan Briscoe said that some kind of agreement involving the Argentine claim of sovereignty of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands is only a matter of time.

Briscoe, who is also Buenos Aires Herald columnist, is a member of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague, an organization which acts as adviser to the Netherlands Government and the United Nations and helps them understand disputes in countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central America.

“In the long term I do not see how a population of 2.000 o 3.000 people who consider themselves British far away from England can avoid contact with their nearest country. It is a matter of time until there is a change in the relationship and some kind of agreement affecting the interests the Argentine claim to Islands,” he assured.

Regarding the United Kingdom, Briscoe recalled the fact that before 1982 war Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s administration had sunk low with a 20% approval rate and rioting hit the streets.

“However, everything changed with the war, which created a practically complete consensus in the British parliament, in media outlets and a nationalism which was manipulated by Thatcher’s government, which made it very hard for any party or media outlet to openly renounce to the claim over the islands.”

That symbolic value has been degraded in the generations that did not live the eighties’ experience despite that tabloids play with the notion that Argentina will invade the Islands, something that is not featured in President Cristina Fernández de Kircher’s agenda.

“A poll conducted in the UK regarding the importance of defending the Falkland Islands sovereignty everybody was in favour excepting the generation of young people born after the war,”

Briscoe added that the potential discovery of oil in areas surrounding the Islands would be another issue to take into account in the dispute. Stepping away from what many analysts say, Briscoe considers that the discovery of oil could bring Argentines and Islanders closer.

Oil exploitation in maritime area requires infrastructure in nearby shores and neither Uruguay nor Chile would support the UK because that would worsen their bilateral relations with Argentina.

Brazil would see it as an influence attempt that would hinder its own oil interests. Briscoe added that the discovery of oil in the South Atlantic would create short term tension, but it would also create an interesting horizon in terms of solving the conflict by either a shared sovereignty or a negotiation with a cession of rights to Argentina”. (BAH).

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  • markw12

    As you don't require infrastructure in nearby shores (FPSO) his comments obviously are not worth the paper they are written on.

    Jun 18th, 2012 - 03:28 am 0
  • JohnN

    Phooey on Buenos Aires Herald and their labeling of the Falkland Islands as “Malvinas Islands” in English[sic].

    Well in the fullness of time, anything is possible, but a “cession of rights to Argentina” probably isn't in the cards. The Falkland Islanders are putting up with Argentine economic harassment now in the form of embargoes on food and other products and services and if the Islanders haven't knuckled-under yet, why would they do so with the prospect of oil exploitation? Its possible that technology will make it feasible for Falklands Maritime territory commercial oil extraction without ties to the South American continent.

    As for the British young being less enthusiastic about defending the Falkland Islands, useful not to forget it was many young British military in 1982 who liberated the Falklands - and undoubtedly today's generation would do so if called upon.

    Jun 18th, 2012 - 03:42 am 0
  • Austral

    Argentina's attack on the Falkland Islands and the subsequent deaths on both sides of the conflict, caused by Argentina, didn't so much make it difficult to renounce its ownership of the islands but rather make it politically suicidal to do so, ever.

    What seems to be missing, always, from any commentary that emanates from Argentina is a sense of having created this mess themselves. They talk of Others having caused the bloodshed and unlike Germany, which faced up to its murderous past, Argentina continues to busy its head in the sand and continue to latch on to second tier commentators and fora to advance its claims. Maybe if there was true contrition and a cessation of the bellicose dialogue, the Falkland Islanders might feel more comfortable getting closer to Argentina or Argentinians.

    @ JohnN, I agree - today's generation would not care less about the liberty and rights of its citizens anywhere in the world. It seems less likely to happen though if only due to the depleted nature of Argentina's military and government coffers.

    Jun 18th, 2012 - 05:24 am 0
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