MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, April 17th 2024 - 00:04 UTC

 

 

Cameron after better relations with Argentina but not at the expense of the Falklands

Tuesday, February 20th 2024 - 15:49 UTC
Full article 1 comment
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron visits San Carlos Cemetery on the Falkland Islands (Stefan Rousseau/PA) Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron visits San Carlos Cemetery on the Falkland Islands (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron currently on a two-day visit to the Falklands said he hoped the people of the Islands would want to stay British “forever” as he insisted a drive to improve relations with Argentina would not come at their expense.

Speaking in Stanley, Cameron played down suggestions from the Argentine president Javier Milei that there could be a negotiation on the future of the UK overseas territory.

The former prime minister said: “Let me be absolutely clear: as far as we are concerned, as long as the Falkland Islands want to be part of the UK family they are absolutely welcome to be part of that family and we will support them and back them and help protect and defend them absolutely, as far as I’m concerned, for as long as they want.

“And I hope that’s for a very, very long time, possibly forever.”

Read also: Lord Cameron arrives in Falklands to commemorate 1982 conflict and reaffirm sovereignty

The shadow of the 1982 Falklands War hangs over UK-Argentina relations, but Lord Cameron and Mr Milei had a “warm and cordial” meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, although on the issue of the Islands, the Foreign Office said “they would agree to disagree, and do so politely”.

However despite all the yellow media avalanche, from both sides, the true purpose of Milei's meeting with Lord Cameron was to commit Great Britain's support vote in the IMF for a financial relief program, since the previous Kirchnerite governments in Argentina and their last presidential candidate, (who was squashed by Milei) Sergio Massa repeatedly lied and made false promises to IMF officials about his plans to recover the Argentine economy longing for fresh money.

Lord Cameron was clear in his statement, “Now of course we want to have good relations with Buenos Aires, with the Argentine government.

“The new government, I think, have taken some positive steps and we’ll have good relations with them, but it will never be at the expense of the wishes of the Falkland Islanders, who in our view absolutely come first in this manner.”

Lord Cameron earlier visited Falklands War battle sites as he became the first Foreign Secretary to visit the South Atlantic territory in thirty years. The last was Lord Hurd in 1994.

He was taken on a helicopter tour of the Islands, stopping at San Carlos and Goose Green, two very significant sites in the 1982 war.

At a ceremony in Stanley, he laid a wreath at the Liberation Memorial, with a handwritten note reading: “In solemn remembrance of those who died defending the rights of all on these Islands to determine their future.”

He also paid tribute to the dead on the other side in the conflict with a low-key visit to the Argentine military cemetery.

The former prime minister’s visit is the first by a member of the Cabinet since then defense secretary Sir Michael Fallon’s trip in 2016.

Lord Cameron was also questioned about energy policy in the Falklands – which has potential for both renewable development and the exploitation of oil reserves.

The Foreign Secretary said the Falklands were “making some great steps in terms of renewable energy, particularly in terms of wind power, and also solar power and so we very much backed you in that”.

“You have your own government making their own plans and we will support you in that. But I would just stress, while we support net zero very, very strongly, it is net zero.

“And so we in the United Kingdom, we’re making sure we are actually going to be having some extra North Sea licenses for oil and gas in the North Sea.

“And we think other countries, if they can responsibly extract hydrocarbons, that can be part of that zero because of course we’re still going to need oil and gas in the short term while we transition. I think that’s an important point to make. It’s net zero, not zero.”

Finally Cameron indicated the UK could be prepared to back the Falkland Islands government to use its own financial clout and borrowing power to support oil exploration.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Bud Spencer

    Talking is good, but sovereignty is not on the table and non negotiable, however I would not trust Cameron with cutting grass never mind being in government, terrible politician,

    Feb 20th, 2024 - 01:42 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!