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August 22, 2014
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UK Minister on Malvinas: Argentine efforts are 'counter-productive'

A banner unfurled by the Argentine national team before Saturday''s friendly, stating "The Malvinas are Argentine", was not well-received by Hugo Swire
The UK Foreign Office Minister to Latin America, Hugo Swire, today criticised the actions of the Argentine government regarding the ongoing dispute over the Malvinas Islands archipelago, also slamming the use of a "Malvinas are Argentine" banner in a national team game.

Swire spoke during the annual reception of the Malvinas government in London, where he praised what he called the "indefatigable spirit and tenacity of the community."

"Efforts by the Government of Argentina to bully and coerce this community have not only failed, but have proved counter-productive," the politican fired during his speech, adding that inhabitants had discovered "a renewed sense of confidence and pride in their identity as Falkland (Malvinas) Islanders.

"The Islanders have had to overcome potentially damaging measures by Argentina aimed at undermining their economic livelihood."

The minister also slammed the use of institutions such as the Argentine football, team, who appeared in a friendly match at the weekend with a banner that stated "The Malvinas are Argentine", to put across political messages.

"[The Islanders] have also come to expect and live with inappropriate stunts even in areas which should be free from politics, such as the Argentine football team posing with a banner claiming the Islands are Argentine," he explained.

"All of this only goes to reinforce the Islanders’ sense of unity, identity and purpose."

Swire added that both the UK and Island governments would listen to Argentine requests to identify the unmarked graves of soldiers who fell in the 1982 Malvinas War; but that at the present time, no such petition had been tabled.

"Regrettably, despite what is sometimes reported – or mis-reported - in the Argentine media, we have still had no such approach from the Government in Buenos Aires. Our offer remains open. These matters should speak to our common humanity and not be the plaything of politics," he remarked.
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Tags:  Malvinas  Swire  Argentina  UK  football  





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