May 19, 2013
UK Minister: 'Argentina's inflation, jobs' more important than Malvinas
The UK’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Jeremy Browne will visit Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, which, consequently takes place just before President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's official visit on March 15 and in the lead up to the 30th anniversary of the Malvinas War.
Browne once again rejected the notion of discussing the Malvinas islands , questioned the Government’s regional policies on the issue and assured that UK’s stance on the island’s sovereignty is based on the self-determination right of its residents,” in an interview with Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.
When asked if the Malvinas dispute is used by Prime Minister David Cameron to cover up domestic trouble, as the National Government posits, Browne refused to comment but hid make a connection between Argentine citizens and their concerns over the islands.
“I think that a normal Argentine citizen wants to have a good job with a good income for his family. If I were Argentine, a stable economy, low inflation and jobs would be more important to me than the Malvinas islands, which most Argentines haven’t visited and make no difference in their lives,” Browne assured in an interview with a Chilean newspaper.
The British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also blasted Argentine measures which make it harder for the islands to access basic supplies, such as decree 256 which states that all ships that want to navigate between Argentine ports and Malvinas must request authorization.
“We hope that people in Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and other countries are able to see that it not alright when a large and powerful country sets a blockade to reduce the quality of lifestyle of people living in remote islands.”
Browne also stressed the fact that “Britain’s stance over the Malvinas islands sovereignty is well known and is based on the people’s right of self-determination to choose their own future, a stance supported by the United Nations. This is a good principle which I believe is understood by all countries. I do not see many nations in the world saying that they do not want their self-determination right, or that they want to be stripped from their rights, handed over to another country and be forced to act against their own will.”
Regarding the military display in the islands, the British official said that they do not intend to start a military conflict in the area, but we must always be prepared. “The Malvinas are properly defended and we must defend them due to the political situation created by Argentina. We do not want to initiate a military dispute in the South Atlantic but we have learnt that we must always be prepared, even if we mean to be peaceful. The people of the Malvinas want to live in peace and decide their own future. We learnt that 30 years ago,” he concluded.