Following President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s speech at the Casa Rosada yesterday, a spokeswoman for Downing Street rejected her notion that Britain is militarising the islands and expressed disapproval of Argentina taking its case to the United Nations.
“We are not militarising the South Atlantic,” the spokeswoman said. “Our defensive posture in the Falklands remains the same.”
The overall of message of Fernández de Kirchner’s announcement was that Argentina plans to continue building international support for a diplomatic solution to the conflict over the islands. The president stated that militarisation poses a grave risk for international security and stressed the key role that natural resources will play in future conflicts.
In addition to reassurances of support from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, it was reported today that Hector Timerman, Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, will meet with an ambassador sent by US President Barack Obama to discuss the issue of sovereignty in the Malvinas/Falklands.
While the frayed relationship between Argentina and Britain over the disputed archipelago has involved posturing on both sides, Argentina’s reluctance to go to war, together with a protest before the UN and limited commercial restrictions, will continue to force the issue of opening up diplomatic channels.
The British do retain the ability to veto any resolution brought before the UN Security Council, and it is widely expected that they will do so if Argentina makes a strong case before the General Assembly.
“The people of the Falklands choose to be British,” the Downing Street spokeswoman said. “Their right to self-determination is a principle enshrined in the UN charter. The Falklands are already discussed by a UN committee and it is up to the Argentines to decide if they are going to raise it at the UN.”