Buenos Aires daily La Nacion dedicated its main Friday editorial to the Falklands/Malvinas dispute, (A change in the policy towards Malvinas), underlining the new Argentine government's position promoting bilateral relations on all issues with the UK, but never forgetting the 'deep difference' over the Islands.
The editorial begins stating that the government of President Mauricio Macri believes in a viable new bilateral relation with the UK, despite the unrenounceable sovereignty claim over the Falklands and South Atlantic Islands. This change of attitude was clear when the recent meeting in Davos of Macri with PM David Cameron, but we are talking of form and not of substance.
In effect from now onwards Argentina and the UK will have a normal bilateral agenda with all issues of interest for both countries, including the South Atlantic Islands and their projection on Antarctica, for which Argentina has created a special Under Secretariat for the South Atlantic.
The editorial adds that diplomacy will have another chance, on the half century of the UN General Assembly Resolution 2065 which acknowledged the existence of a conflict and invited both sides to overcome it through discussions.
Since then, the British particularly between 1966 and 1982 examined different solution alternatives such as the 1974 condominium, or the sovereignty lease-back which was to be implemented gradually beginning in the eighties.
The idea was to 'serenely' build with time a true cooperation spirit between the all sides involved as effectively happened in the seventies when Argentina built Stanley's airport; patients travelled to the British Hospital in Buenos Aires for medical care; scholarships were offered to study in Argentina, plus a special document which exempted the Islanders from transit controls when travelling to or leaving Argentina. In just three years some 1.600 people took advantage of these facilities and the bilateral relation, step by step started to melt the ice of distance.
After that period came war in 1982, followed by an arrogant Argentine national policy, together with a very harsh and inflexible relation with clashes of all kinds which revolved on to a single issue, the Islands. With no chance of persuasion, which unfortunately came across a similar attitude from the other side systematically denying to consider Argentina's 'legitimate' rights, and the repeated calls for negotiations from the international community, the situation put at stake the good faith that must always prevail in relations among nations.
The collapse of international oil prices has postponed the extreme dreams of those who believed that the South Atlantic subsoil could become a new Saudi Arabia, which presumably will push all sides to the necessary realism that should lead to normalizing relations. It should also help with a new chapter in which, without arrogance, two nations that have many issues in common can begin to address them jointly in a serene framework to the benefit of all, including the UN Decolonization Committee.
Thus statements from foreign minister Susana Malcorra, during an interview with La Nacion, give an idea of the depth of the turn that relations between Argentina and the UK could reach, despite the sovereignty conflict over the Islands. The minister said at the time that besides the fact there is an issue in which we have a deep difference, all issues of common interest, must be included in the bilateral agenda, so that there is nothing that can block the capacity of holding that dialogue.
Finally, the proposition is evidence that without losing sight of Argentina's objectives, you can take advantage of the enormous potential that can exist in relations with all countries, including Great Britain.