On 16 February 1990, Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Sir Timothy Sainsbury informed the House of Commons of the 14,15 February 1990 Madrid meeting which resulted in the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Argentina and the United Kingdom
During negotiations, the British delegation was led by Sir Crispin Tickell, United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and the Argentine delegation by Ambassador Lucio Garcia del Solar, Special Representative of the Government of Argentina
At the time John Major was Prime Minister and Douglas Hurd, Foreign Secretary.
In Argentina, Carlos Menem was president and Domingo Cavallo, Foreign affairs minister.
Sir Timothy Sainsbury addresses the House:
”At the conclusion of talks between the British and Argentine delegations in Madrid, it was agreed that diplomatic relations between our two countries, which were broken off at the time of the Falklands conflict in 1982, should be restored. The exchange of ambassadors will follow in due course. A copy of the joint statement issued on 15 February with its annexes will be placed in the Library of the House.
We look forward to a new chapter in Anglo-Argentine relations: to the re-establishment of cultural relations, co-operation in fighting drugs and on environmental issues and an agreement to promote and protect investment. We have also undertaken to facilitate a visit by Argentine next-of-kin to their military cemetery on the Falklands under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
We agreed to abolish the present visa regime in the near future and shall discuss the practical details involved. It will still be necessary for Argentine citizens to obtain visas before entering the Falkland Islands.
Both Governments have agreed on a series of measures to increase confidence in the region. These include: the establishment of a direct military communications link between the British forces in the Falkland Islands and Argentina; the introduction of rules of reciprocal behavior for naval and air units operating in proximity; measures to facilitate air and maritime safety and navigation; notification of military manoeuvres and exercises in a large area of the south Atlantic; and mutual notification for military aircraft and naval vessels approaching the coasts of the Falklands or Argentina.
Each Government retain the right, if they believe it necessary, to withhold agreement to movements which have been notified and which would come within 70 nautical miles (for aircraft) or 50 nautical miles (for ships) of their coasts.
As of 31 March these new arrangements will come into force and the Falkland Islands protection zone will be lifted.
The Governor has briefed Falkland Islands Councilors on the results of these talks. We believe that the reduction in tension, the removal of obstacles to air and sea links between the Islands and South America and the opportunity for talks on fish conservation will be welcome in the Islands.
The normalization of relations with Argentina has been achieved without discussion of sovereignty over the Falklands. The Government's determination to defend the Islanders' right to determine their own future remains firm”.