IF Argentina goes through with its threat to suspend the Falklands/Chile airlink it will be an, "act of desperation," said Member of Legislative Assembly Jan Cheek (left).
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner this week told the United Nations, "once again we convene the UK to abide by UN resolutions," (for talks on the Falklands) adding, "we will wait for some more time, but if not we will be forced to review current provisional understanding." She added, "I refer to the 14 July 1999 understanding when it was agreed to have a two way weekly flight by LAN Chile linking the Malvinas."
The July 14, 1999 agreement was signed in London by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, his Argentine counterpart and Falklands councillors. Under the agreement Argentine citizens could once again travel to the Islands on their Argentine passports. Britain has adamantly refused sovereignty negotiations over the Falklands, "taking advantage of its condition of member of the UN Security Council with a right to veto," said Kirchner. "It is obvious the UK cannot claim sovereignty over a territory that's 14,000 kilometres away from their land. We are not asking the UK to accept sovereignty talks straight away, we are asking the UK to comply with the UN General Assembly resolutions." MLA Cheek said, "Its clearly a threat and we are expecting more in the lead up to the Argentine elections. "Although hypothetical, if she carries out the threat in my opinion it would be a massive own goal, she would cutting the Islands off from Argentine veterans and their families and from Argentina's neighbours... I think if she went through with it would be an act of desperation.. it would also harden Falkland Islanders attitudes towards Argentina."
MLA Cheek said, "We are not open to blackmail," adding, "we are constantly looking for alternatives (airlinks) anyway."
Speaking to Penguin News H E the Governor Nigel Haywood said, "Much of the language used in the speech is familiar. The implicit threat to the air link is new, although it is not exactly clear from President Kirchner's speech what she is proposing. We would naturally regret any further unilateral Argentine action which damaged the links between the Falkland Islands and neighbouring countries."You saw from last night's reception for the Chilean community here what the real benefits of strong neighbourly relations can be. The Falkland Islands have an important role to play in the South Atlantic region. The cooperation we used to have with Argentina in a number of areas – fisheries, hydrocarbons, communications – was to the advantage of all in the region. It is regrettable that Argentina has systematically withdrawn from most of these arrangements, and now appears to threaten to withdraw from another."