Falklands threat erupts as 'aggressive' new minister poised to wreak havoc for UK

Falklands threat erupts as 'aggressive' new minister poised to wreak havoc for UK

27/09 ARGENTINA is stepping up its relentless quest for sovereignty of the Falkland Islands with the appointment of a new hardliner who is widely regarded as being even more "aggressive" than his predecessor, an insider has warned.

Meanwhile Argentina’s newly appointed Foreign Minister, Guillermo Carmona, has given a clear indication that he intends to use next year’s 40th anniversary of the Falklands war to step up his country’s claim over the remote archipelago. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez last week appointed Daniel Filmus as Science Minister after a Government reshuffle, with his previous Cabinet post, that of Malvinas Islands Secretary, going to Guillermo Carmona.

However, with Mr Fernandez having prioritised the question of Falklands sovereignty, since coming into office, a source with knowledge of the situation told Express.co.uk anyone hoping the 54-year-old would bring a more moderate approach than his predecessor were likely to be disappointed.

The UK-based insider explained: “Guillermo Carmona has been a major player in the Argentine campaign for the Falklands for a long time.

“I think Filmus was quite aggressive. But Carmona may well be more so because of his long involvement with their campaign and with Argentine specialists on the subject – and because the Argentine Government is likely to want to step up their campaign ahead of the 40th anniversary of the war next year, and for domestic and electoral purposes.

“It’s just possible that Carmona might try to work on, or exploit, Argentine lobbyists here (where there is a handful) and in Europe – as he would have actually met some of them personally at past conferences, meetings, the UN, etc.

“He very probably met Jeremy Corbyn at the totally biased ‘Pro-Dialogue’ conference in 2012.“

Mr Carmona, who chaired the Chamber of Deputies’ Foreign Relations Committee between 2012 and 2015, will be in charge of the Secretariat of Malvinas, Antarctica and the South Atlantic.

He was picked for the job by Santiago Cafiero, Argentina’s Foreign Minister, in a move which will pose of fresh headache for incoming UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

State-run news agency Telam said Mr Cafiero “has among the main objectives of his management the deployment of a broad and forceful commemorative agenda for 2022, the year in which the 40th anniversary of the war conflict is celebrated”.

An unnamed Foreign Ministry source was quoted as saying: “In this framework, and reaffirming the deep commitment to the Malvinas cause, he will designate the former national diplomat for Mendoza, Guillermo Carmona, as head of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic Secretariat.”

The Foreign Ministry department would handle “policies and actions carried out by the Advisory Council on issues related to the South Atlantic and is in charge of planning and directing the Argentine Antarctic policy, with the implementation of the corresponding international commitments”, the source added.

In an article written for the Infobae website, Eduardo Amadeo, like Mr Carmona a former member of the Chamber of Deputies, said he was concerned about the appointment.

Mr Amadeo, a supporter of Mr Fernandez’s predecessor as President Mauricio Macri, said his leadership had coincided with an improvement in UK/Argentina relations typified by the identification and final burial of 115 of the 122 Argentine combatants buried in the Darwin cemetery on the Falklands, which he described as “a feat of enormous humanity that has undoubtedly gone down in the history of international relations”.

However, Mr Amadeo added: “Multiple sectors rejected this indirect approach strategy, accusing those who tried it of ‘surrendering sovereignty’, to mention the mildest adjectives.

“There were even those who maintained a language dangerously close to warlike claims.”

Mr Amadeo said: “Within this line of discourse and political action, the then Kirchnerist deputy Guillermo Carmona stood out, who repeated with particular constancy the aggressive arguments towards anyone who proposed the possibility of some level of dialogue with the islanders or the British.

“This terrible decision by the new Foreign Minister Cafiero is taken at a time when Argentina is suffering unprecedented levels of isolation and irrelevance; and when you desperately need - and will need - support in multiple international organisations."

"The chancellor should soon learn that the 'national interest' is served with strategic intelligence rather than discursive opportunism."

Argentina launched an invasion of the Falklands in 1982, triggering a brief but bloody war that cost the lives of almost 1,000 troops.

Despite its defeat, Buenos Aires has never relinquished its claim over the islands.

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