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Falkland Islands dispute becomes a political incident in Welsh politics

Friday, August 8th 2014 - 07:44 UTC
Full article 37 comments
Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies said that Mr. Jones was 'naive' and had been used as a 'pawn' in the Falkland Islands row Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies said that Mr. Jones was 'naive' and had been used as a 'pawn' in the Falkland Islands row
Argentine ambassador Castro and governor Buzzi were part of the numerous delegation from the province of Chubut visiting Wales Argentine ambassador Castro and governor Buzzi were part of the numerous delegation from the province of Chubut visiting Wales
The Welsh government said the (Falklands) matter was not discussed at the meeting between First Minister Jones and Chubut governor Martín Buzzi. The Welsh government said the (Falklands) matter was not discussed at the meeting between First Minister Jones and Chubut governor Martín Buzzi.

The Welsh Conservatives say First Minister Carwyn Jones should distance himself from 'distasteful' comments over the Falkland Islands' sovereignty. The situation involved the Welsh leader, Argentine ambassador in UK Alicia Castro and Chubut governor Martin Buzzi, when they met to address next year's 150th anniversary of Welsh settlers in Patagonia.

 Alicia Castro claimed the Welsh settlers' integration refuted 'propaganda' of Argentina's hostility towards British descendants “as claimed by a sector of Malvinas Islands inhabitants”.

Governor Buzzi during the opening of a Chubut province stall at the Eisteddfod festival in Carmarthenshire, also called for “dialogue on the Malvinas Islands situation, so dear to Argentines”.

But the Welsh government said in a release “the matter is non-devolved and was not discussed at the meeting between the first minister and the governor of Chubut Province, Martín Buzzi, yesterday”.

However the Welsh Conservatives say first minister Jones has been used as a 'pawn' in the long-running diplomatic row.

In a press release issued after their meeting on Wednesday, Ms Castro said she “refutes the propaganda from a sector of the Malvinas Islands' inhabitants portraying Argentina as hostile, in an attempt to justify the UK government's refusal to resolve the sovereignty dispute.”

The press release issued by the Argentine embassy said that on Wednesday “Ambassador Alicia Castro participated in a meeting between the Governor of Chubut province, Martin Buzzi and the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones who signed a cooperation agreement. Both parties promised to work jointly to organize the 2015 celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Welsh settlers in Patagonia.

Ambassador Castro praised the integration of the Welsh community in Argentina as an example of the hospitality that Argentina extends to British descendents of Britons, 'which refutes the propaganda from a sector of Malvinas Islands inhabitants portraying Argentina as hostile in an attempt in an attempt to justify the UK's government refusal to resolve the sovereignty dispute'”.

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said that Mr. Jones was 'naive' and called on the first minister to make his position over the Falkland Islands clear.

“I would expect the Welsh government to have seen this statement prior to its release. If so, it is extremely naïve for Labor's first minister to allow himself to be used as a pawn in this dispute and an explanation is swiftly required.

”If the statement was not seen, it is incumbent upon Carwyn Jones to immediately distance himself from the context of the statement and the comments highlighted, which many will find distasteful.“

”A number of Welsh guardsmen lost their lives liberating the Falklands and all should be remembered.

“The Falklands should remain British for as long as their inhabitants wish and I urge Labor's Carwyn Jones to publicly join me in making those statements.”

The Argentine ambassador was part of the delegation headed by governor Buzzi and several provincial ministers from Chubut, where the Welsh settlers' celebrations will take place in 2015.

In a statement, the Welsh government said: “This matter is non-devolved and was not discussed at the meeting between the first minister and the governor of Chubut Province, Martín Buzzi, yesterday.

”The meeting was an opportunity to re-sign the memorandum of understanding between Wales and Chubut in order to reflect the change in constitutional arrangements in Wales.

“As there has been significant interest from numerous organizations across Wales in next year's 150th anniversary of the arrival of Welsh settlers to Chubut this was also an opportunity to raise the profile of these celebrations.”

Top Comments

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  • Brit Bob

    Castro and 'Chubnut' laughable pairing. PS A sovereignty claim without a case is illegitimate. Comprende?

    Aug 08th, 2014 - 08:03 am 0
  • Idlehands

    I'm pretty sure after over 100 years the descendents of the Welsh consider themselves Argentine. As for her comment about hostility towards the Falklanders - that's just another case of the Argentine government denying what is obviously true.

    Aug 08th, 2014 - 08:22 am 0
  • Alec

    Re sovereignty, the matter was discussed face-to-face between 2 April and 14 June 1982. Blighty - and, more importantly, the Islanders - consider it to be closed.

    Aug 08th, 2014 - 08:26 am 0
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