Politics

Falklands fury: Boris Johnson braces for Malvinas row after call with Chilean President

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The agenda of discussions was agreed during a phone call between the PM and the Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font last week. Mr Boric has stated that Chile will support Argentina in the sovereignty claim of the Malvinas and South Sandwich Islands, according to the South Atlantic news agency MercoPress. He also said he intends to hold conversations with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on the topic ahead of COP27.

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also referred to as COP27, will take place in Egypt from 7-18 November 2022.

The Chilean President said: “Last week I had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and among other issues, we agreed on a bilateral meeting in Egypt when we meet in the framework of COP 27.

“We support Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the South Atlantic Islands, and I will also be talking to Fernandez and Johnson about the consequences of this issue.”

He went on to stress his intentions to intensify negotiations that will result in a peaceful resolution.

He noted: “Obviously we hope that this will be solved through diplomacy and never again with war.

“In that diplomatic way, we support the Argentine claim.”

Last week, the President of Argentina stated that his country has an “inalienable” entitlement to the Falkland Islands.

The remarks followed those of the Argentine foreign minister last week, who accused Britain of “double standards” in its posture towards the islands when contrasted with its support for Ukraine.

It comes as the South American nation marked 40 years since its armed forces attempted to annex the islands.

According to Argentine news outlet Grupo La Provincia, Mr Fernandez said on Friday that “every Argentine knows that we have an inalienable right over the Malvinas Islands”.

Mr Fernandez reportedly added: “We will never stop claiming them.

“We will insist through diplomatic channels, but we will never stop doing so.”

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The President’s remarks echoed those of his defence minister, Jorge Taiana, when he said his Government would “persist” and “create the conditions” to necessitate negotiations.

According to Ambito, an Argentine newspaper, Mr Taiana said the UK had fallen foul of contradictory foreign policy.

He said the UK Government’s posture was it “cannot negotiate [ownership of the Falkland Islands] because the self-determination of the islanders must be respected”.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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