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Montevideo, March 30th 2023 - 05:05 UTC



End of 'comfort zone' for UK in Falklands' issues; Argentine ambassador in London and ex Deputy foreign minister, sacked

Wednesday, January 22nd 2020 - 06:31 UTC
Full article 19 comments
Argentine foreign minister Felipe Solá, Baroness Hooper from the House of Lords, Daniel Filmus and British ambassador Mark Kent during a meeting last December Argentine foreign minister Felipe Solá, Baroness Hooper from the House of Lords, Daniel Filmus and British ambassador Mark Kent during a meeting last December

The Argentine government has called back to Buenos Aires two ambassadors who were instrumental in the drafting and implementation of the 2016 Foradori-Duncan communiqué which opened the way for a more constructive relationship between Argentina and the UK, in a raft of issues, including those in the South Atlantic and the disputed Falklands Islands.

They are ambassador in London Renato Sersale di Cerisamo, ambassador Carlos Foradori in Geneva dealing with several multilateral organizations. The idea according to Argentine diplomatic sources quoted in the media is to “remove the UK from the comfort zone” which is has been enjoying under the previous government of president Mauricio Macri with his appeasement policies..

It is true that back in September 2016 the communiqué had a rough time both from allies of president Macri but mainly and most strongly, from the Peronist opposition which questioned the possibility of joint UK/Argentina exploitation of resources (fisheries and hydrocarbons) in the “Argentine Sea”, an improvement of the Falklands connectivity with the continent, although the humanitarian project to identify the remains of Argentine combatants buried in the Falklands has been praised, and apparently will continue, until all graves and crosses at Darwin have a full name.

The Argentine foreign minister at the time was Susana Malcorra, who was too absorbed in her ambitious attempt to become the next UN Secretary General, although it is also believed the communiqué could have had some intended influence at the Security Council. But in the Argentine congress, both members of Macri's coalition and the opposition were merciless towards the document arguing it was done in the back of lawmakers and did not underline Argentine sovereignty rights over the Falklands/Malvinas.

A couple of months later Malcorra resigned, and Elisa Carrio a vital ally of Macri also quit as chair of the Foreign Relations committee in the Lower House. Ms Malcorra revealed that talks took off in May 2016, with foreign secretary Phillip Hammond the first such meeting at that level in fourteen years, and insisted that all time congress was kept informed. It was a roadmap and at no stage did it mean Argentina was giving up its sovereignty claims, and as part of the understanding had to include other negotiation issues. “Political dialogue in bilateral and multilateral issues of interest” Argentina and UK were essential, particularly since these had been dropped during the Kirchner years.

Malcorra also argued that during the no dialogue years of the Kirchners, it did not impede the UK and Falklands from advancing in fisheries and hydrocarbons licensing, with Argentina passively watching from the sidelines. And finally freezing relations with UK and Falklands achieved nothing, rather the contrary, thus the new administration wants to emphasize its strong claim over the Falklands and distance itself from appeasement.

This among other things is expected to mean a review of the conditions for the air link with Brazil, if it has political, military, tourism or other implications. Likewise the suspension of the joint scientific fisheries cruises in the South Atlantic. Apparently this has already been informed to the UK. A similar attitude can be expected by oil companies operating offshore north or the Falklands, making sure these companies under other names of alliances do not operate in the rich shale deposits of Vaca Muerta. in Argentine Patagonia. An Israeli company recently involved in a farming out scheme of the Sea Lion project offshore Falklands, allegedly has already been warned.

Finally and again, the objective of the current administration with foreign minister Felipe Sola is “to remove the UK from the comfort zone it enjoyed with the government of Macri and create a friction scenario with undeniable political impact both domestically and internationally”, following on the emphatic words of president Alberto Fernandez during his first speech to Congress when taking office, (December 10) underlining the several milestones conquered by different Argentine governments beginning in 1965 with the UN General Assembly Resolution 2065, in the long term diplomatic and peaceful struggle to recover unrenounceable sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands.

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  • Brit Bob

    That’s one small step for the indoctrinated, and one giant leap backwards for Narnia.

    Jan 22nd, 2020 - 11:31 am +8
  • Roger Lorton

    What other problems, MoreCrap? Argentina does not do 'normal'. Argentina is a bad neighbour. But then, nobody expects very much from Argentina.

    Perhaps one day, its new generations will grow up and be less pathetic.

    Until that day comes, you will always be 3rd rate.

    Jan 22nd, 2020 - 12:16 pm +7
  • RMN

    To which I would add that “2 wrongs don't make a right”. I would not wish to defend some of the actions undertaken by past British governments, though I do not see how a list of these past events, most being at over a century ago, excuses current 21st century behaviours by Argentina.

    Jan 22nd, 2020 - 03:15 pm +6
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