William Hague made clear Britain’s position during a dinner with 100 international ambassadors, including Argentina’s Ambassador, Alicia Castro.
During the dinner, held in London, Hague emphasised he wanted to strengthen the relations between Britain and Latin America, but is committed to the “right of self-determination of the islanders.’
“This determination to deepen our relations with Latin America is coupled with our steadfast commitment to the right of self determination of the people of the Falkland Islands,” said Hague, as reported in the Telegraph. He added, that both countries will commemorate those lost during the war and these events cannot be “understood as a provocation.”
This was the first time Hague has addressed the sensitive issue in front of a high-ranking Argentine official.
A day later, the Uruguayan Foreign Affairs minister, Luis Almagro, declared his opposition to blockading trade with the island.
“Supporting any form of blockade would be a violation of the Malvinas inhabitants’ human rights and the same we say with Cuba, we repeat in this case” said Almagro, yesterday.
Although Uruguay supports Argentina’s stance on the sovereignty of the islands, Almagro added that Uruguayan businesses can do trade “with whom they wish and with whom they can.”
Uruguay has been pulled into the debate by a misinformed Sun newspaper article, indicating that Uruguay was breaking trade restrictions set by Argentina on the Falklands. In a statement, Almagro pointed out that beside Argentina, “there’s no blockade of the Malvinas Islands inhabitants by any country of the continent.”
The Falklands/Malvinas debate has been gaining tension over the last few months, as the 30th anniversary of the war draws near.