UK’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to Visit Chile

11 Mar

Jeremy Browne, Britain’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, is scheduled to visit Chile this month, ahead of the visit by Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez on March 15th.

Announcing the visit in an interview with the Chilean newspaper, El Mercurio, Mr. Brown dismissed any connection to the current war of words between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands. The British Minister did however, blast Argentine measures which make it harder for the islands to access basic supplies, such as the law which states that shipping wishing to navigate between Argentine ports and the Falklands must request prior authorization from the Argentine authorities, “We hope that people in Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and other countries are able to see that it not alright when a large and powerful country sets a blockade to reduce the quality of lifestyle of people living in remote islands.”

“Britain’s stance over the Falkland Islands sovereignty is well-known and is based on the people’s right of self-determination to choose their own future, a stance supported by the United Nations. This is a good principle which I believe is understood by all countries. I do not see many nations in the world saying that they do not want their right to self-determination, or that they want to be stripped of their rights, handed over to another country and be forced to act against their own will.”

Asked about the military situation on the Falklands, Mr. Browne said that Britain was prepared for any eventuality, “The Falklands are properly defended and we must defend them due to the political situation created by Argentina. We do not want to initiate a military dispute in the South Atlantic but we have learnt that we must always be prepared, even if we mean to be peaceful. We learnt that 30 years ago.The people of the Falklands want to live in peace and decide their own future.”

The 30th anniversary of the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina is on April 2nd. Argentina’s aggressive attitude towards the Falkland Islanders has grown again in recent years and there is a fear that they’ll try once again to take the archipelago by force, having failed in 1832 and 1982.

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