Argentina Denies the Falklanders’ Rights

23 Jan

In an interview yesterday, Hector Timerman, Argentina’s Foreign Minister, denied that his country was enforcing a blockade around the Falkland Islands in spite of evidence to the contrary and the recent statement by his British Counterpart, William Hague.

Published in Sunday’s Página12 newspaper, the article included Timerman’s claim that the Falkland Islanders had no right to determine their own future as the United Nations had clearly recognised the dispute as being a ‘bilateral’ issue between the United Kingdon and Argentina. This, he believed, excluded the right to self-determination enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

In another interview by the Buenos Aires TN news channel, a member of the Islands elected Legislative Council, Dick Sawle, countered the Foreign Minister by pointing out the restrictions placed by Argentina over flights to and from the Falklands, a refusal to allow Falkland flagged vessels into Argentine ports and a Argentina’s refusal to consider conservation methods for their fishing fleets. Argentina also seeks to restrict access to the fledgling oil industry around the Islands and demands that vessels passing through its waters explain their purpose, in contravention of the right of ‘innocent passage’.

MLA Swale also pointed out that, despite Timerman’s claims to the contrary, the Islanders have an express right to self-determination recognised throughout the United Nations, and the world.

Despite Argentina’s assertions, Britain is not ignoring any UN Resolutions concerning the Falkland Islands. The last Resolution was issued by the UN’s General Assembly in 1988. It called for talks between the two countries to resolve their differences and negotiations took place in compliance with it. The result was the resumption of diplomatic ties in 1989.

The UN has not issued any Resolution on the subject since.

During this, the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s last attempt to take the archipelago by force in the 1982 Falklands War, the war of words is likely to continue.

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