Argentina expects more support from the EU on the “Malvinas issue” after Brexit
Since the Falkland Islands ceased to be a European Union (EU) Community overseas territory after the Brexit, Argentina seeks more support from the bloc in the negotiation claim with the United Kingdom on the South Atlantic British territory, explained in an interview with EFE the Argentine Secretary of Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, Guillermo Carmona.
What has happened, the Brexit, has brought about a fundamental change, stressed Carmona at the end of two days of meetings in Brussels with representatives of the European Commission, Council, and Parliament.
The question of the Malvinas, an archipelago whose sovereignty, claimed by Argentina, has been held by the United Kingdom since 1833, was one of the central issues in the meetings held by Carmona.
For Latin Americans and Caribbean people, it is extremely important that the agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom did not include the British overseas territories as part of this disengagement agreement, he emphasized.
In this way, the advantages that the United Kingdom has obtained in terms of economic and trade relations do not apply to the overseas territories, British colonies, including the Malvinas, he pointed out.
Carmona stressed that what his country seeks is that the United Kingdom complies with international law, which implies, according to resolution 2065 of the United Nations General Assembly, that it sits down at the negotiating table with Argentina, which it refuses to do after the war over the archipelago (1982).
We visualize an enormous potential with the EU, in that it always emphasizes respect for international norms, he stressed.
According to what he said, in this we have been able to share our perspective of the importance that the European countries and the EU contemplate the possibility of sustaining a position of support, not to Argentina, but to the fulfillment of international law, which is what we demand.
In terms of cooperation in research, Carmona also had the opportunity to discuss, with the Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino, among other senior EU officials and MEPs, oceanic and Antarctic cooperation.
We have raised the prospects of a more intense, more powerful cooperation in these fields with the EU, and recalled that the Falkland Islands dispute and sovereignty issue is strategically linked to the Antarctic and South Atlantic issue.
Carmona alluded to the Argentine oceanic program Pampa Azul, which brings together the efforts of seven ministries and scientific and technical organizations, and which seeks greater knowledge of our sea, of the conditions of biodiversity, issues related to the wealth that our continental shelf treasures, he said.
He also pointed out that the scientific research programs in the marine protected area of the province of Tierra del Fuego and the proposal, together with Chile, for a marine protected area in the Antarctic Peninsula, have also aroused the interest of the EU and European countries.
As regards the association agreement negotiated between the European Union and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay), which is pending ratification, Carmona said that cooperation in environmental, scientific or climate change matters we are on good terms with the EU beyond this negotiation, which is open, he said.
At least in the areas of my competence, there is no situation of affectation or postponement of objectives linked to our environmental policies and scientific research in the Argentine sea, nor do they affect the Antarctic field, he commented.
On the other hand, he said that we will have to see, in a process of reopening the negotiation of this agreement, in which aspects we can contribute with a viewpoint.
For Carmona, the political will of the European countries is fundamental to implement this treaty, but he warned that the pre-agreement that had been closed by the previous government has received objections not only from the current Argentine government but also from other governments of the region.
He recalled that the Argentine President, Alberto Fernández, has expressed a positive predisposition and, at the same time, has warned about some aspects that were contemplated in this previous pre-agreement that are not compatible with the views and objectives of the Argentine Government, especially the demands of the Argentine industrial sector.
We hope that the European countries decide to activate that discussion and that we have the possibility, in a new process, to contribute with our points of view, he concluded.