President Alberto Fernandez on Friday underlined the significance of Argentina's standing presence in Antarctica, --to defend its sovereignty claims--, and also recalled that 187 years ago the British invaded and usurped the Malvinas Islands, a land which “we will never renounce to, and we will always claim”.
The occasion was the ceremony launching the second leg of the Antarctica Summer Campaign, 2019/20 held on board Antarctica flagship icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar, docked in Buenos Aires and which early Saturday left for the south
This is a unique experience since when I was cabinet chief, this marvelous vessel caught fire and we all felt we had suffered a tremendous loss, said president Fernandez.
He added that with then president Nestor Kirchner, we decided that Argentine shipyards should rebuild the vessel: for us it is so important because it ensures that Argentina permanently defends the sovereignty rights it has in Antarctica.
Scientific research and all the standing activities displayed by Argentina in Antarctica are essential to sustain our sovereignty claim over the Argentine Antarctic Sector, underlined Fernandez.
And speaking of sovereignty, ”this is an appropriate date to claim sovereignty because today, (January 3), 187 years ago the British invaded the Malvinas Islands.
It is a land which we will never renounce to and will always claim as ours, Fernandez said, adding that to each of the Armed Forces heroes, our eternal gratitude for having sacrificed their lives in defense of our land”. He also had words of praise for all those women and men who defend Argentine presence in the South Atlantic Islands and Antarctica.
Fernandez went on to say that the Antarctica Policy is a true State policy both domestically and internationally, conducted by the Argentine foreign office and based on two main pillars: ensuring the sovereign rights of Argentina in Antarctica, and strengthening the Antarctic Treaty System.
To comply with these purposes, scientific research in Antarctica is implemented by the Argentina Antarctic Institute, together with universities and scientific-technological organizations, both domestic and foreign through the logistics articulation under the Antarctic National Directory and the Ministry of Defense.
President Fernandez was invited to a tour of the icebreaker, visiting the bridge and command post, communications system, surgery room and the different research labs, and finally signed the guests' book
Attending the ceremony were the Foreign, Defense and Interior ministers, Felipe Solá, Agustín Rossi and Eduardo de Pedro, the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic Secretary Daniel Filmus plus Chiefs of Staff and Armed Forces commanders, among other officials and guests.
In the second leg of the Antarctic season, ARA Irizar will be taking supplies and a new shift of personnel for the Orcadas and Belgrano II bases, and continue with logistics support at Esperanza, Carlini and Petrel bases.