Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

‘Illegal!’ Argentina fury at new flight route for Falkland Islands | World | News

Rosana Bertone, Argentinian politician and Governor Tierra del Fuego Province, has condemned the move which will allow the Brazilian TAM Airlines to cover a route from Sao Paulo to the Falkland Islands, with a monthly scale in the province of Córdoba. Ms Bertone has claimed she is the legitimate Governor of the Falkland Islands despite being under British control. On April 2, 1982, Argentinian forces invaded the British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on June 14, returning the islands to British control.

Ms Bertone hit out at Argentina President Mauricio Macri and stated the move “seeks to favour the illegal British presence in our stolen territories”.

Ms Bertone also criticised the route the flights plan to take and said a “simple stopover in Cordoba” fits into the “strategy to please the British”.

In statement she said: “This action will only benefit the island’s trade and the illegal exploitation of our natural resources.

“As the legitimate Governor of the Falkland Islands I repudiate this new measure of the National Government, which only seeks to favour the illegal British presence in our stolen territories.”

Governor Bertone had insisted Britain’s changing outlook on the world caused by Brexit could pose an opportunity for Argentina to negotiate control over the territory.

Ms Bertone said: “Instead of taking advantage of the uncertainties of Brexit, the current President wants to please the UK and not force them to negotiate.”

Meanwhile, Facundo Rodriguez Undersecretary of Legal Affairs at the Falkland Islands, insisted the move for additional flights was required to create “more connections with the continent to improve commercial activities”.

Mr Rodriguez said: “This process began in 2016 with the Foradori-Duncan agreement where Argentina promised to fulfil this old desire of the illegitimate island leadership, which is to have greater connections with the continent, but always leaving aside the direct relationship with continental Argentina.

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“This is a monthly stopover in Córdoba, but the flight is going to be weekly between Sao Paulo and the Falkland Islands.”

Mr Rodriguez added the move to increase flights to the Islands – located 8,000 miles away from Britain in the South Atlantic – will strengthen the relations between the two nations.

He said: “Facing the chaos that Brexit could cause, the national government instead of favouring Argentina using this situation of uncertainty, strengthening its position and negotiating with the United Kingdom the solution of the dispute; Macri decides to favour and solve all problems to the British.

“What they are looking for is to maximise and exponentiate their illegal exploitation of the renewable and non-renewable resources that correspond to the Argentine people.”


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He added: “Since 2003, Argentina has been offering an extra weekly flight to the Falkland Islands, but what Argentina maintained until 2016 was that this flight was a direct flight to the Argentine continent with a national flag company, that is, obtaining a return in exchange.

“Basically, what Argentina is doing is telling the United Kingdom, ‘You guys rest assured that we are going to help you in this situation and you will not have any kind of conflict with us regarding the Malvinas sovereignty dispute.”

The first flight is set to take place in November.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)

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