First modification: 07/04/2021 – 22:54
Buenos Aires (AFP)
The Argentine government filed a complaint with its counterpart in Uruguay for having allowed the refueling of a British military plane in flight between the Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom, a source from the Foreign Ministry in Buenos Aires informed this Wednesday to AFP.
The plane, an Airbus A330 MRTT, had departed from the southern archipelago bound for the United Kingdom and made a technical stopover in Montevideo, which violates agreements between Argentina and Uruguay that limit that assistance to humanitarian issues because the UN recognizes that there is a dispute on the sovereignty of the islands, explained the source without specifying the date on which the event occurred.
Argentina claims the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands for whose possession it fought a war with the United Kingdom in 1982 that ended with the surrender of the forces of the dictator Leopoldo Galtieri and the death of 648 Argentines and 255 British.
Uruguay has historically supported the “legitimate right of Argentina in the sovereignty conflict with Great Britain over the Malvinas Islands”, as well as United Nations resolutions that urge the parties to negotiate, according to the source.
In mid-2020, the Argentine Foreign Ministry asked its Uruguayan counterpart for information on flights to Malvinas that land in Montevideo.
During 2019 “there have been 13 military flights from Uruguay to the Falkland Islands”, the then Argentine Ambassador Alberto Iribarne detailed in February 2020 before the Uruguayan Senate.
The complaint comes after, at the end of March, the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, accused his Uruguayan counterpart, Luis Lacalle Pou, of “little educated” for describing the Mercosur agreements as “a drag.”
The Uruguayan president asked to make the Mercosur rules more flexible, when speaking during the virtual summit that celebrated the 30 years of the regional bloc, in an episode full of tension.
Mercosur, which is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, has historically spoken out in support of the Argentine claim on Malvinas.
Buenos Aires accuses London of failing to comply with international resolutions and claims the sovereignty of the islands on the grounds that they were usurped by the British in 1833, when it had inherited them from the former Spanish colony.
London argues that almost 100% of the island’s population, about 4,000 inhabitants, voted to continue belonging to the United Kingdom in a referendum held in 2013.
A 1965 United Nations resolution called on the two countries to initiate a dialogue on sovereignty, but the negotiation never happened.
© 2021 AFP