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Argentina's attempt to have the Magellan Strait defined as a “shared space”

Wednesday, August 11th 2021 - 19:04 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The Chilean Foreign Affairs ministry The Chilean Foreign Affairs ministry

Argentina's attempt, mistaken or in purpose to describe in official policy to its Armed Forces the Magellan Strait and areas of the Drake Passage, as “shared spaces”, have triggered a strong reaction from the Chilean media and nationalist groups.

La Prensa Austral from Punta Arenas, who live next to the restless neighbor have been particularly harsh on the incident referred to the “shared spaces” allegedly claimed by Argentina, but which finally bilateral promises and diplomacy seems to have silenced. But the La Prensa Austral editorial is enlightening.

“Once again Chilean diplomacy has been outwitted by Argentine cheating when it comes to defining land and sea boundaries. The latest attempt was with the National Defense Policy Directive to the Argentine Armed Forces, which in the context of a regional strategic scenario, Argentina slipped the ”shared spaces“ term.

”In effect, according to the policy announced last 6 July and with the pretext of advancing bilateral relations of Argentina with Chile, there was a clear attempt by Argentine diplomacy to have “shared spaces” overlooked.

“What was absolutely disturbing and unacceptable is that under the excuse of the Directive, the Magellan Strait and the Drake Passage zone were included as shared spaces.

”Chilean diplomacy sent a formal diplomatic protest and the administration of president Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner had to back track.

“Having good diplomatic relations which cover collaboration in all fields, is a good aspiration. But acting with naivety, is something that can't be accepted from people who define Chilean foreign policy.

”We only need to look back into history and recall the definition of boundaries both at sea and in land with Argentina. Since the treaty of 1881, when Chile was involved in a full war with Bolivia and Peru, Chile had to unilaterally give up East Patagonia and half of Tierra del Fuego, to avoid opening another confrontation flank.

“Then, at least a historic right was fully and legally acknowledged: the integrity of the Magellan Strait and Chilean sovereignty over the maritime passage. As to the Drake Passage, we already have a recent attempt, in 2009, when Argentina claimed some 9,000 square kilometers of the extended continental shelf belonging to Chile.

”The truth is that Argentina's foreign policy has been historically very active and expansionist when it comes to boundaries issues. Chile on the other hand is in some kind of abulic condition, which given the background and Argentina's conduct demands a quick reaction”.

Categories: Politics, Argentina, Chile.

Top Comments

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  • FortHay

    Will this insanity never end? When I lived and worked in the 80's in Cerro Sombrero on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego, I saw the minefields on the Southern terminus of the ferry connection, watched the daily mock attack runs of mirage jets out of Punta Arenas and witnessed directional drilling by ENAP next to the border fence. All that over some pointless islands near the cape. When the Argentine generals tried to divert from domestic problems with a military escapade to invade British islands, I was not surprised at all that Chile aided and abetted the British/US response.

    Aug 12th, 2021 - 11:12 am +1
  • imoyaro

    Nobody should be surprised. No matter what the Narcokleptocracy does or says, things just continue to get worse. Time to start trying to bully the neighbors..

    Aug 12th, 2021 - 02:30 am 0
  • Chicureo

    Well the fact they can never be trusted was why I was given a gold ticket to serve in my country’s navy — specifically Argentina as our greatest threat.

    Even today — despite I love Argentines — they cannot be trusted!

    They are historically guilty of violating promises and treaties!

    ¡Saludos de Chile!

    Aug 12th, 2021 - 10:39 pm 0
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