In the week that British Banks and financial institutions have been receiving letters from Argentina threatening to sue them for any involvement in the oil exploration taking place around the Falkland Islands, Jorge Taiana, the former Foreign Minister, has been giving his views.
“Argentina is building the necessary consensus to create the political conditions forcing the British to negotiate. They will sit when not to sit is politically more burdensome,” he said in an interview.
“Since 2003, with the arrival of Nestor (Kirchner) to the Government, there was a certain change in politics over the Falklands. In 2003, the assessment was made that the 1990’s policy had not been successful. Based on that, it was decided to have a policy with several components including a firm claim of sovereignty, and to give it a higher priority in foreign policy.”
“The Falklands issue had been fairly unobtrusive at the international level, .. in fact many people were beginning to ignore the Falklands question and Argentina’s claim.”
“The conflict cannot be solved because the British do not want to sit. This was the political vision on the subject, to generate a lobby in the United Kingdom so that it has to talk, and in this we have had some success. … this does not mean that there is an imminent solution, but it allows us to be optimistic that Argentina, with the support of the region and the international community, is building the necessary consensus to create the political conditions for the British to negotiate.”
“We must make further progress in consolidating what we have achieved in this region, and work in African countries, where there are many former British colonies. .. we also have to work politically with British public opinion. Taking into account the problems of energy that the United Kingdom has with the North Sea, it is clear that the question of self-determination is an excuse. There are two important elements: first a domestic issue because they are not doing well, and have many conflicts with the European Union. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the reluctance of British to fulfil the mandate of the UN has to do with the British interest in the possibility of obtaining hydrocarbons in this area, and that is more relevant when we consider that the exploitation of the North Sea is entering a cone of decline.”
“The mandate of the UN says that it should take into account the interests of the Islanders, and the Argentine Constitution says we will respect their way of life. I think that the issue is not how the Argentines would treat the Islanders if we exercise of sovereignty, this has never been a problem, it is transformed into a problem as an excuse not to discuss the sovereignty.”
“When we ask to negotiate the British look surprised as if it were a strange proposal, when in fact for more than ten years there were negotiations. From the 1965 Resolution* negotiations took place well into the 1970’s. … we are living in a world where the correlation of forces are changing, this world is more distant from the world of the post war period which gave power to the developed countries. The entire process of change undoubtedly gives more force to regional support for the Argentine claim. In consolidating Latin America and Mercosur, without a doubt, the political conditions for a return of the exercise of sovereignty is made easier.”
* United Nations Resolution 2065 recognised a dispute and called for negotiations between Argentina and the UK. These took place without success and terminated when Argentina ignored the Resolution and invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982, resulting in the short Falklands War. The continuing existence of Resolution 2065 following this illegal act by Argentina is in doubt. Argentina has not achieved a UN General Assembly Resolution concerning the Falklands since 1988.