Saturday, August 13, 2016

United Kingdom and Argentina are looking to increase bilateral cooperation : Malvinas (Falklands) gov’t rules out extra flights

Kelpers rebuff rumoured UK, Argentine agreement to expand air traffic to disputed islands

Embryonic talks between the governments in Buenos Aires and London over the possibility of expanded airlinks between Argentina and the Malvinas Islands, in exchange for the “removal of restrictive hydrocarbon measures,” has been met with resistance from the government on the islands, throwing any agreement into doubt.

In a statement released yesterday, following confirmation by Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra that the United Kingdom and Argentina are looking to increase bilateral cooperation, the Malvinas (Falklands) Islands government threw cold water on any rumoured deal. In its release, the Kelpers said they are “confident that the UK remains committed to supporting the Islands’ right to self-determination and to develop our own economy, including hydrocarbons.”

Similarly, the Malvinas government made it clear that it has no interest in having the number of flights to and from the Argentine mainland ramped up.

“It is no secret that the Falkland Islands are looking to establish an additional airlink within South America; but this does not include the possibility of a link to Argentina. The UK Government has been open and transparent with FIG about how it would like to improve the bilateral relationship with Argentina but has made it clear that this will not include negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands,” the statement said.

  • There is currently one flight a week from Chile to the islands, and once a month it stops in Río Gallegos in Santa Cruz province.

On Wednesday, the Clarín daily published a letter dated August 2 from UK Prime Minister Theresa May to President Mauricio Macri in which she proposed to cooperate despite political differences “towards new airlinks between the Falkland Islands and third countries in the region and the removal of restrictive hydrocarbons measures.”

Malcorra then confirmed that negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom are “on the possibility of re-establishing flights” between Argentina and the islands in exchange for lifting the restrictions on oil exploration in the area.

The Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on the statement when contacted by the Herald...





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