Saturday, October 15, 2016

Argentina objects to British military drills in Malvinas (Falkland Islands)

The Argentine government Friday denounced Britain for its plans to hold military drills in the disputed Malvinas Islands, known to the British as the Falklands, in the coming week.

Argentina claims sovereignty over the disputed Malvinas Islands in the South Atlantic while the islands are controlled politically by Britain.

"Argentina's foreign office found out on Oct. 13, via the Ministry of Defense's Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service, that the British government will carry out illegal military drills around the Malvinas Islands between Oct. 19 and 28. These drills will include launching Rapier missiles," said Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra in a press release.

Vice-chancellor Carlos Foradori presented a note to the UK ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent on Friday "with a formal and energetic objection to the aforementioned military drills, demanding that they (the UK) refrain from holding them, at the same time informing Secretary-General of the United Nations of the situation."

Argentina rejects "these drills being carried out on Argentine territory illegitimately occupied by the United Kingdom, those that ignore resolutions from the United Nations and other international organizations, that urge both countries to resume negotiations with the purpose of finding a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute, as well as refraining from carrying out unilateral acts in the territories and maritime spaces under dispute."

Buenos Aires and London, whose relations have been marred in the past years by the differences surrounding the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands, decided to relaunch their bilateral relations with a focus on "things that unite" both administrations.

An international business and investment forum was convened by Argentina last month in an attempt to renew links between the two nations.

Alan Duncan, British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas arrived in Argentina on Sept. 12.

Duncan told local media and Xinhua that "the United Kingdom wants to develop a relation with Argentina in a very, very positive and prosperous way."

"We have a political agenda, an economic agenda" and both countries have agreed to work "on the things that unite us," said the British government official.






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