Argentina's Foreign Ministry Wednesday denied an alleged scoop published by the Buenos Aires daily Infobae, according to which the administration of President Alberto Fernández was eyeing the termination of the bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom regarding the issue of the Falkland Islands.
The news article, signed by Laureano Pérez Izquierdo, said Fernández had decided such a move to draw nationalist voters, military personnel and war veterans to support him in this year's mid-term elections.
But the Foreign Ministry issued a statement:
“The Foreign Ministry informs that the versions of a note from Infobae on alleged new Argentine plans in relation to the United Kingdom and the Malvinas question are absolutely false. The Government continues with the state policy of great consensus validated by Congress.”
The scandal arose just two days before the April 2 anniversary of the Argentine military landing on the islands in 1982, which led to the susequent armed conflict.
The Infobae article suggested that the government of Alberto Fernández, at the request of the Foreign Ministry, was evaluating withdrawing from the Madrid I and II agreements signed in February 1990 by then-President Carlos Menem whereby diplomatic relations between the two countries resumed as well as from the bilateral memmorandum of understanding signed in September 2016 by the government of Mauricio Macri known as Foradori-Duncan, by the names of former Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori and the British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas of the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Relations, Alan Duncan.
According to the Infobae report citing unspecified diplomatic sources, the government was to make the announcement during the most significant April 2 holiday.
The Madrid accords involved set out the course of action for everything regarding ties between the two countries following the 1982 war, not only on political and military matters, but on fisheries and other economic issues as well, while the Foradori-Duncan pact allowed, among other things, for the humanitarian process of identifying Argentine combatants buried nameless in the islands.
Casa Rosada sources quoted by Infobae explained that “to repeal those agreements would vindicate him (the President) with the Argentines and, above all, the Malvinas Cause. It is an administrative act that has a great political repercussion for the world, for the Argentine military and retirees, for veterans. Furthermore, all the nationalist people would support him.”
In a subsequent, unsigned article, Infobae explained the Argentine government would not strain diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom over the Falklands cause and decided not to rescind the historic agreements between the two countries signed in 1989, 1990 and 2016.
Infobae maintained Fernández' change of mind was due to the negative repercussions the first publication seemed to draw. In other words, according to the newspaper, Fernández did have in mind such a move but just decided not to go along with it. For now.
Direct flights between Argentina and the United Kingdom have been suspended earlier this year, allegedly due to the coronavirus crisis and in order to avoid the spread of the disease.