Argentina’s Xmas present: Falklands offered two humanitarian flights for residents to visit relatives
Britain allegedly thanked Argentina for its offer of two humanitarian flights so that Falkland Islands residents could visit relatives, mainly in Chile, or for other reasons during the holidays season, but the UK also recalled that air links with the Islands are the exclusive responsibility of the Falklands’ elected government.
The information was published in the Argentine news agency Infobae, very close to the government, and was in response to an announcement from the Foreign ministry referred to the matter.
However Infobae also published that FIG, Falkland Islands Government wants to help residents visit families over Christmas and has requested the Government of Argentina to allow a charter flight from the Islands to Chile, returning early next year, adding FIG will bear the costs.
All came to light on Wednesday when the Argentine foreign ministry published in its site that it was sponsoring two initiatives elaborated and agreed in consensus by the National Council of Issues relating to Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and adjoining maritime spaces, the first of which was the promotion of two humanitarian flights, in December and January, with Argentine flagged aircraft (Aerolineas Argentinas) from continental Malvinas territory to transport residents who need to fly to other destinations for personal reasons or to visit relatives during the holidays season.
The offer, says the release, was transmitted to the British government last week but the Argentine counterpart is still waiting for a reply. The release adds that it must be recalled that because of Covid 19 pandemic restrictions commercial flights (from Chile and Brazil with stopovers in Argentina) to the Islands have been suspended since March 2020.
In this context the proposal looks to overcome the consequences of Covid 19 and also stimulate a greater trust with the inhabitants of the Islands, as established in the framework of the Argentine Constitution in its First Transitory Disposition in what refers to respect for the way of life of Falklands’ inhabitants.
The release also points out that following on recommendations from the Malvinas related issues Council, the Executive branch is promoting a bill which establishes a continuous and mandatory teaching program on the Malvinas Question for all civil servants in the three branches of government. The purpose is the mandatory formation of all government staff in a priority issue of Argentine foreign policy.
The National Council for Issues Relating to Malvinas and other South Atlantic Islands, created by Law 27.558, is mandated to advise and support the Executive branch in the sovereignty dispute over the Islands. The council is made up of members of Congress (Deputies and Senators) from the main political forces with parliamentary representation, specialists in international law, academics, Malvinas Veterans and authorities from the province of Tierra del Fuego.
It must also be recalled that according to Falklands’ local media an estimated two hundred residents in the Islands are in need to fly mainly to Chile, because some are stranded with expired documents and the majority wish to visit their relatives which they have not seen for almost two years. A request from FIG to the Chilean foreign ministry for a solution to those that have become undocumented, allegedly remains unanswered.