The Falkland Islands government announced on Thursday it is content to hold preliminary talks with Argentina on air links and fisheries cooperation as was proposed by Argentine ambassador Alicia Castro to the Foreign Office last April 23, given certain clarifications.
In effect, in the reply letter addressed in early June to Ambassador Castro the FCO Overseas Territories Directorate states that Falklands’ flights issues should be subject to a commitment from the Argentine government that it will not seek to block the current Lan Chile air link and that there is a review of the policy of banning charter planes from over-flying Argentine space.
Likewise the Falklands and the UK are willing to resume discussions on the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, SAFC, and resumption of scientific research cooperation for the broader objective of conservation in the South Atlantic.
Nevertheless the Falklands’ government insist that talks on fisheries cooperation should not be used as a forum for a discussion of sovereignty, “which the Falkland Islands people do not want”.
The letter from the Foreign Office points out to Ambassador Castro that the Argentine initiative was re-addressed to Falklands Legislative Assembly since these issues (air links and fisheries) are the responsibility of the Falkland Islands Government.
The Legislative Assembly replied to the FCO on June 6 and the following day, Colin Roberts head of the Overseas Territories directorate wrote to Ambassador Castro.
The Argentine government has acknowledged receipt of the letters but has not yet responded.
Follow the full text of the letters: June 6, addressed by the Falklands Legislative Assembly to the FCO setting out its willingness to hold preliminary talks with the Argentine government, and the June 7 written by Colin Roberts to Ambassador Castro saying the Falklands welcome any genuine initiative that helps to restore a spirit of cooperation with Argentina, given certain clarifications.