Argentina puts the UK to the test with a new sovereignty bid – ‘No more compromises!’
Argentina’s new Malvinas minister has sought to ratchet up the rhetoric surrounding his country’s sovereignty claim to the Falkland Islands, accusing previous governments of “concession” and emphasizing that the issue is essential to President Alberto Fernandez’s administration.
Guillermo Carmona, the Secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica, and South Atlantic, gave a belligerent assessment of the situation during an interview on Radio 3, an Argentinian radio station, just weeks after replacing Daniel Filmus as Secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica, and South Atlantic following a Cabinet reshuffle. In a clear signal to London, he also disclosed that Buenos Aires was planned to spend an eye-watering £5.2 billion on a new Antarctic Logistics Centre in the country’s deep south.
Mr Carmona accused Mr Fernandez’s predecessor, Mauricio Macri, of making “pernicious compromises for the country” during his term.
“It is crucial to highlight the decision to give the Malvinas sector in the Foreign Ministry more importance and to increase its responsibilities, restoring the position of Secretariat,” he said.
There was a “de-Malvinasisation” while Mr Macri was in office, according to Mr Carmona.
Mr Carmona pointed out that Fluvio Pompeo, who was later appointed Secretary of Strategic Affairs, used an interview with a “British newspaper” days before Mr Macri’s victory to announce actions aimed at “unfreezing the relationship with the United Kingdom.”
“We have always been in favor of conversation with the United Kingdom, but under one condition: sovereignty as the center of any debate,” he said, a remark that is unlikely to endear him to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
“We have resumed State policy on the Malvinas Islands, based on the Constitution, legislation, and international law.”
“In defense of the national interest, we resolved to use diplomatic instruments to establish the necessary conditions.”
He stated that the goal was to seek “to attain the full exercise of sovereignty,” and that “this is what we will do and continue to do.”
Mr Carmona confirmed intentions to start work on the Antarctic Logistics Centre in Ushuaia, Argentina’s southernmost city, next year in this context.
“Allotments have been made in the proposed national budget to start the Antarctic Logistics Centre,” he explained.
“The building of a port and the inclusion of machinery and equipment at the Ushuaia naval base are planned in terms of infrastructure.”
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