Germany said that its position on the Falkland Islands dispute has not changed, following claims by Argentina that Lufthansa's request for two flights to the Islands, in support of a polar research expedition, implied recognition of the archipelago as Argentine territory.
The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory and Argentina claims sovereignty over the Malvinas alleging historic and territorial conditions plus support from the international community in different forae such as UN and OAS.
Germany's flag carrier said it made the over flight request to Argentine authorities because the normal route via Cape Town has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A German foreign ministry spokesman said the federal government’s position on the Falkland Islands had not changed.
“The activities of private companies cannot be attributed to the Federal Republic of Germany and have no international consequences,” he said.
However the Argentine government said Lufthansa asked for permission for two flights that are due to carry scientists and logistical support staff from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant Complex in the Falklands, where they will continue onboard the ship RV Polarstern to Antarctica to conduct climate change research.
Argentina said the German government also asked for its permission for the RV Polarstern research ship to dock in Port Stanley, (Puerto Argentino) the capital of the British territory.
The two, 15-hour flights are scheduled for Feb. 1 and March 30.
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Lufthansa had asked its civil aviation authority and regional authorities to fly over Argentina and use the Tierra del Fuego town of Ushuaia as an alternative airport should it be unable to land in the Falklands.
The Foreign Ministry said the German Embassy also asked for authorization from the Argentine Coast Guard for the RV Polarstern ship to enter “Puerto Argentino”.
“The relevance of Lufthansa’s request presented to the Argentine authorities is highlighted as it implies the recognition of the Malvinas Islands as part of Argentine territory,” the Foreign Ministry headed by Felipe Solá said. (Source Reuters)