Falkland Islands grab: Argentina pressures EU to list as disputed territory in Brexit deal

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Buenos Aires said today that it would put pressure on the European Union so that a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK does not include the Falklands in the list of Overseas Territories. According to Argentina, the idea was endorsed by the European Union and London would, therefore, be urged not to include the islands in that agreement because it is a disputed territory.

The government also resurfaced a legal threat against oil companies operating in South Atlantic waters and will reinstate their sovereignty claim over the islands to the Organization of American States.

Argentina urged several countries, including Great Britain and France, to sanction the oil companies that operate in waters that are claimed by Argentina or that are in dispute with London.

The companies concerned are part of a consortium responsible for contracting a semi-submersible platform, which in 2015 began an exploratory campaign 200km from the islands – during which they began to drill at least six wells.

It comes as Buenos Aires was set to hold talks with Britain this month in their bid to claim sovereignty while placing sanctions on illegal fishing in the South Atlantic.

Argentina also passed two laws which created a National Council for Affairs relative to the Falklands o known as Malvinas Islands in Buenos Aires.

Alongside this, The UN Decolonisation Committee, or C24, unanimously approved a resolution yesterday calling on the UK and Argentina to resume negotiations over the Falklands, known as the Malvinas by Argentina.

It was backed by all Latin American countries in the C24 which include Chile, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela as well as several members of the British Commonwealth.

Argentina says it would be “a plural initiative which will help to outline and sustain State policies in the mid and long term”.

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Daniel Filmus, the Secretary for Malvinas Affairs of the Foreign Ministry spoke today about the recent actions.

He said: “It was difficult, but we did it and this gives us the strength to continue with all the plans to get the Malvinas back.

“It was necessary to convince the countries that make up the Commonwealth and that are aligned with Great Britain to vote in favour of our proposal.”

The UK claimed the Falklands 187 years ago and won a war over the territory in 1982.

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It left around 649 invading Argentine soldiers and 255 British dead and the conflict ceased after 74 days.

However, the UK government has made it clear that any future negotiations will depend on how Falkland Islanders want to progress their status.

In 2013 referendum on the island’s status was held and almost unanimously the Falklands voted to remain as a British Overseas Territory.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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