Falkland Islands WARNING: UK fightback against Argentina’s extraordinary power grab
Wendy Morton, deputy Foreign Secretary for Europe and the Americas, travelled to Buenos Aires to meet officials in Argentina for the first time since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. Her visit came just a day after President Alberto Fernández revealed his plot to prise the UK´s overseas territory away from Britain, with three bills aimed at strengthening Argentina’s hold over the Falkland Islands.
Ms Morton met with deputy foreign minister Pablo Tettamanti and Production minister Matias Kulfas, saying the trip was to “emphasise the UK’s commitment to working with Governments across Latin America, broadening our relations across trade, climate change and global security”.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Morton said: An important meeting today with Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister Pablo Tettamanti.
“We are both determined to work together on the issues that affect us both. “Our co-chairing of the Equal Rights Coalition is a testament to our strong and growing relations.”
But, despite, the conciliatory tone her meeting came just a day after Argentina revealed its extraordinary plot to seize back control of the Falkland Islands from the UK, with the president making an impassioned plea to heal the “bleeding wound”.
Sabre-rattling President Fernandez also issued a threat to fishermen, warning he would sanction fishing companies operating in the island’s seas.
Speaking at the opening of the 138th congressional session, he said: “Our common home has a bleeding wound in the deepest of our sovereignty feeling, the usurpation of the Malvinas [Falkland Islands], South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.”
Argentina uses Islas Malvinas - the Spanish name for the British overseas territory - which it claims sovereignty over despite nearly 200 years of UK control.
Since Britain’s Brexit vote in 2016, Buenos Aires has tried to steer the lead in the Remote British Overseas Territory by the back door.
The two historic foes have been embroiled in a long-running diplomatic spat over the islands, which have been under British control since 1833.
However, the political debate is now raging once again after the UK and Argentina entered discussions over trade with the first official visit since 2009.
In 2013, a referendum asking whether the Falkland Islanders supported the continuation of their status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, prompted an almost unanimous response from the island's inhabitants.