Any new airlinks with South America will not include Argentina assures government

FIG responds to Argentine interpretation of Prime Minister’s letter

A LETTER from the British Prime Minister Theresa May to the Argentine President, which refers to making progress towards new airlinks between the Falklands and South America, has been interpreted by Argentina as an airlink with Argentina. However, the Falkland Islands Government has dismissed this interpretation.

The letter also referred to making progress on the removal of, “restrictive hydrocarbons measures.”

After the letter was revealed in an Argentine newspaper the Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra said London and Buenos Aires had been discussing the issue of flights for three months. 

“This conversation started during my visit to London in May when I met with my then counterpart Philip Hammond. We began talking about the possibility of reestablishing flights. We’ve been exploring and looking at ways to do this but it hasn’t been resolved yet,” she commented.

However a spokesperson for the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly said it was no secret that the Falklands was looking to establish another air link within South America but, “this does not include the possibility of a link to Argentina.”

The spokesperson notes that FIG was, “confident that the UK remains committed to supporting the Islands’ right to self-determination and to develop our own economy, including hydrocarbons. 

“The new Minister for the Falklands, Sir Alan Duncan, confirmed this in a telephone conversation with Chair of the Legislative Assembly, MLA Phyl Rendell, last week...

“The UK Government has been open and transparent with FIG about how it would like to improve the bilateral relationship with Argentina but has made it clear that this will not include negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.”

In Mrs May’s letter she comments: “It is my sincere hope that, where we have differences, these can be acknowledged in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and with the intention to act in a way that benefits all those concerned. 

This includes making progress towards new air links between the Falkland Islands and third countries in the region, and the removal of restrictive hydrocarbons measures.”

The letter is in response to one from President Macri informing former British PM David Cameron that Argentina had nominated Susana Malcorra to run for the position of UN Secretary General. Mrs May writes: “As I am sure you appreciate, the UK has a long standing policy of not revealing its voting intentions in UN Secretary General elections. 

“I assure you, however, that we judge all candidates on their merits and we will carefully consider Ms Malcorra's bid.”

She notes: “I would like to take the opportunity to express my hope that we can continue to work together to move the relationship between the UK and Argentina into a more productive phase and I am pleased that the Foreign Secretary has already had the opportunity to speak to you about this. I welcome our growing cooperation on such areas as trade and investment, combating drugs, crime and corruption, and Argentina moving closer to the OECD. I was delighted to hear that the recent visit of the sail training ship Libertad to Liverpool was such a success, a clear sign of our strengthening ties.”