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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

What next for the Falklands? War of words, or just war?

Is a battle over the Falklands about to start all over again? 

This time however it appears it isn't the actual islands that are the key aspect of the ongoing and escalating Diplomatic row, it is the sovereign waters of the islands where exploration drilling (for oil) has begun just this week.

Oil always starts arguments and definitely inspires greed, and this is what the war of words is really about.

It appears that Argentina's leaders have met behind closed doors at a summit in Cancun with other Latin American and Caribbean leaders and a document has been drawn up which they will all sign supporting Argentina in it's diplomatic dispute with the UK Government over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Defence Minister Bill Rammell MP has said the government had a "legitimate right" to build an oil industry in its waters and that the UK would take "whatever steps [were] necessary" to protect the islands and that it had made Argentina "aware of that".

Diplomatically this is strong language and the words coming from Argentina in retaliation are as strong.
Argentina appears to have gained the support from President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who has said that Britain was being irrational and had to realise that the "time for empires was over".

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has called for "Britain to return the territory of the Malvinas to its real owners - to return it to Argentina" on Venezuelan Telesur television.

So, the war of words continues at an increased pace but Argentina has ruled out military action for now at least and is trying to pressure Britain into negotiations on sovereignty.

Only last year Argentina submitted a claim to the United Nations for a vast expanse of the ocean, based on research into the extent of the continental shelf, stretching to the Antarctic and including the island chains and will be raising the issue once again at the UN next week.

Let us hope this war is one only of words.  I'm not entirely convinced though.


Martin Veart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin Veart said...

War of words and of economic nuisance. The current Argentinian stance will increase the price of exploration by forcing re-supply and logistics further afield.

Of course, if they are serious and intend to re-invade, that is another argument to focus defence upon regular non-nuclear forces and ditch the unusable and expensive nuclear options.
Perhaps these circumstances are a reminder that the Royal Navy and portable air power is a far better insurance policy than a replacement for the Trident system.

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