Argentina says humanitarian flights all ready to fly Falklands-residents to Chile
The Argentine government announced on Sunday that all is ready for the two humanitarian charter flights, with an Argentine flagged carrier, to transport Falklands-Malvinas foreign residents that have been stranded in the Islands since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The humanitarian offer, in a release from the Argentine foreign ministry, takes into account the United Kingdom’s presentation that the majority of the stranded residents are Chilean citizens, and thus the two Argentine aircraft are expected to depart from continental Argentina with destination in Punta Arenas, or any other Chilean airport.
According to the release, the UK which flaunts the Islands sovereignty, claimed by Argentina since 1833, had rejected the original proposal to organize humanitarian flights last 8 December, but Argentina modified its offering three days later.
The release goes on to mention that Foreign Office spokespersons said it was the Falkland Islands Government that had requested the Government of Argentina to allow a charter compassionate flight from the Islands to Chile, returning early January, adding that the Islands’ government would pay for the costs of the flight.
Likewise the Argentine proposal is done in the context that all regular commercial flights between the Islands and the continent have ceased to operate since March 2020, plus the fact of restrictions imposed to land transport with Chile because of sanitary reasons.
Even when these suspension exceed the will of Argentine authorities, the Argentine government is looking to overcome the negative consequences caused by the pandemic, enabling those residents in the Malvinas Islands to travel to their home cities be it for personal, health or family issues, argues the Argentine ministry.
The ministry insists that is can’t be attributed to Argentina the cause of the isolation situation of Malvinas residents, or any other negative situation, since the Argentine government has expressed and reiterated its good will gesture, on the issue.
Further on the release points out that Argentina has had nothing to do with the air disconnection situation of the Islands, but rather the United Kingdom has attributed to the Islands’ government the negative stand to the resumption of the regular commercial flight Punta Arenas, Rio Gallegos, Malvinas.
Given such situation, Argentina has made it clear that all issues relative to regular commercial flights with the Islands concern the governments of the United Kingdom and Argentina, and do not depend on the decision of the illegitimate government of the Islands and the airline company
Furthermore, the Argentine foreign ministry has in reiterated occasions, during 2020 and 2021, proposed regular commercial flights with an Argentine flagged carrier between Malvinas and the Argentine continental territory, thus expressing and confirming Argentina’s absolute good faith and predisposition on the matter, according to the release.
As a final comment it must be said that the stumbling block remains with the Argentine government’s policy of not addressing the illegitimate government of the Falklands, and UK which has signaled that air links with the continent are a matter and responsibility for the Islands government to decide.
Furthermore as both sides, from diametrically opposed positions, (Liberation vs invasion and occupation of Argentine territory) prepare to recall the 40th anniversary of the 1982 war, the presence of any Argentine aircraft, particularly flag carrier Aerolineas Argentinas, in the Falklands is highly sensitive.
Last 19 November Argentina announced a new agenda of actions to reinforce its sovereignty claim over the Islands, in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of the war. The several point agenda includes reaffirming Argentine sovereignty over the South Atlantic Islands, calling for the resumption of dialogue and sovereignty negotiations with the UK, ratification of Argentina’s commitment to peaceful means for resolving controversies and honoring Malvinas Veterans and those fallen during the 1982 conflict.