Philip Hammond woos Argentina for post-Brexit trade deal but Falklands are OFF the agenda
The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri did not include the issue surrounding the Falklands in their talks over future trade deals.
Hammond flew to Buenos Aires to discuss the future trade relationship the UK wishes to pursue with the Latin American country after its divorce from the European Union.
Also on the table the upcoming G20 meeting scheduled to take place in the Argentinian capital in 2018.
But international attention was more focused on possible arguments about the tension over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands that has linked the countries for more than two decades.
According to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion however, the two sides steered away from the issue.
The paper reports that the Falklands weren't even mentioned during talks, but that Hammond and Macri rather concentrated on reinforcing the trade relationship between their countries.
During a press conference broadcasted by Sky News Hammond said: "We can recapture the spirit of the age when the UK was Argentina's primary trading partner."
"The evidence of that time is still all around us: in your schools, in your railways, in your universities, in your football teams. There, I said it."
"Argentina offers several opportunities in different sectors like infrastructure, energy, communications, technology and other services. We expect the UK to expand its shares of investment and trade."
The Chancellor is the first UK minister to visit Argentina since 2001, when former PM Tony Blair crossed the border from Brazil to talk with then-President Fernando De la Rua.
The Falklands have been at the centre of a dispute that in 1982 resulted in a war that caused 255 British dead.