The Argentine government continues disrespectfully to ignore “our inalienable right to determine our own future” and “develop our economy”, said the elected government of the Falkland Islands in a release responding to Argentine determination to impede the Islands right to develop the hydrocarbons industry and claims about 'militarization' of the South Atlantic.
On Friday, in London, Argentine politician Daniel Filmus, head of the Malvinas Affairs Department, during a media round and a later conference, again threatened the oil companies drilling in Falklands' waters with legal actions, blasted the 'militarization' of the Falklands based on an alleged live threat from Argentina, and said the UK owes an explanation to Argentina over years of cyber spying.
In a brief statement the Falklands' government recalls that hydrocarbons exploration in the Islands waters has been going for years and that Argentina walked away from jointly working in the development of that industry some years ago, and equally significant Argentine domestic law does not apply to the Falklands.
Likewise regarding 'militarization', the Falklands' government points out that UK forces are in the Islands as a deterrent and levels of personnel have been reduced considerably over the past 15 years, and the latest defense review announcements are mainly investment in infrastructure.
Finally the Falklands government states that in 2013 a referendum sent a clear unequivocal message to the world with 98% of the local population preferring to remain a British Overseas Territory, since the relationship with the UK is based on mutual respect, something Argentina refuses to give the people of the Falklands.
Follows the full statement: 'Response to government of Argentina's announcement of further action against hydrocarbons exploration in the Falklands'
The Falkland Islands Government (FIG) fails to see how drilling is in any way a provocation.
We have the right to develop our economy, including the hydrocarbons industry, and we are exercising that right. Exploration drilling has been happening in Falkland Islands waters for many years. It is worth remembering that it was the Government of Argentina who walked away from working with the Falkland Islands on the development of a hydrocarbons industry some years ago. Argentine domestic law does not apply to the Falkland Islands and this latest action is clearly another attempt by Argentina to try to block economic growth in the Falkland Islands.
The Falkland Islands Government would dispute the Argentine argument about militarization of the Falkland Islands. UK forces are here as a deterrent and levels of personnel over the past 10-15 years have reduced considerably. The recent review will not lead to any increase in the size of the military in the Islands but rather an investment into infrastructure here in the Islands.
The Government of Argentina continues to ignore our inalienable right to determine our own future. In 2013, in an internationally observed referendum, the Falkland Islands sent a clear and unequivocal message to the world when of those who turned out to the polls, 99.8% voted in favor of remaining a British Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. We are very happy with our relationship with the United Kingdom, and it is a relationship based on mutual respect – something Argentina refuses to give the people of the Falkland Islands.
The Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands