Falklands leaders condemn Argentina’s ‘open hostility’3 min read
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Falkland Islands leaders have accused Argentina of “unprovoked and open hostility” towards the people of the remote archipelago after Buenos Aires blocked plans to resume direct weekly flights from Brazil. The Falkland Islands Government has been trying to reestablish the airlink, suspended since March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials had been hoping to repeat the success they had with similar weekly flights from Chile, which resumed in July 2022.
Any discussions relating to connectivity between the Falkland Islands and South America require discussions with the Falkland Islands Government, the UK Government and the Government of Argentina, led by President Alberto Fernandez.
Talks in relation to the Brazil flights have been ongoing since the start of last year, but despite multiple meetings being agreed upon between the various parties, all were either cancelled or postponed by Argentina.
The Falkland Islands Government will now look at other viable options including those not requiring Argentinian overflight.
MLA Mark Pollard said: “The Government of Argentina continue to deny our self-determination, and take every opportunity to enforce sanctions on our people and collectively punish us for legitimately exercising our democratic rights.
“This latest move is yet another attempt to isolate us from South America and impede our economic development.”
Mr Pollard continued: “We have said, repeatedly, that Falkland Islanders will not enter into discussions about a direct flight to Buenos Aires, or the possibility of Argentina’s national airline servicing any routes into the Falkland Islands.
“We have been steadfast on both of these points, and it is incredible that these are still considered bargaining chips by a government which treats us with such unprovoked open and continued hostility.”
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Argentina was also cutting off its nose to spite its face as well, Mr Pollard stressed.
He said: “By refusing permission for overflight of this aircraft, not only are they removing the only link between the Falklands and Cordoba, but they are also hindering their own economic and social development by reducing connectivity between Sao Paulo and Cordoba.
“The contract with LATAM will be extended in the hope that the flight will be restarted in the future once more cooperative discussions can be held.”
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Mr Pollard also shared the news via his Twitter account, commenting: “Just another example of the economic terrorism inflicted on our people 16,000 times smaller in number than theirs.
“But still always the more grown-up party.”
The Falklands is a British overseas community whose sovereignty is still disputed by Argentina, 41 years after the Falklands War which saw a task force dispatched by then-PM Margaret Thatcher liberate them following an invasion ordered by military junta Leopoldo Galtieri.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Argentinean government for comment.
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