UK and Argentina agree on better of mutual cooperation
A UK-Argentine joint statement has been agreed following a series of high level meetings in Buenos Aires with Sir Alan Duncan - the first Foreign Office Minister to visit Argentina since 2009.
During the visit Sir Alan met President Mauricio Macri, Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori, as well as Senator Federico Pinedo, Cabinet Minister Marcos Pena and Strategic Affairs Secretary Fulvio Pompeo.
He also attended a Business and Investment Forum and met Science and Technology Minister Lino Barañao, Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich and Energy and Mining Minister Juan Jose Aranguren.
Both countries agreed the first positive statement on South Atlantic issues since 1999, which set out a commitment to work together on issues affecting the South Atlantic and the Falkland Islands.
They agreed to work toward removing restrictive measures around the oil and gas industry, shipping and fishing affecting the Falkland Islands in the coming months. Both delegations expressed support for a project to identify the remains of unknown Argentine soldiers buried in the Falkland Islands emphasising the humanitarian nature of this work.
None of the discussions or the statement affect the sovereignty of the islands and the UK remains absolutely clear in its support of the rights of the islanders.
The statement sets out areas of closer co-operation for the two countries, including through increasing trade links, uncovering new investment opportunities, strengthening cultural ties, tackling corruption and organised crime, and increasing links in science and technology.
Both countries set out the need to tackle effectively threats to international peace and security, and agreed to explore opportunities to work more closely together.
This will build on the existing similar approach of the UK and Argentina at the United Nations, including on specific issues such as human rights, non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the fight against drugs, terrorism and organised crime.
The statement reaffirmed the UK’s support for Argentina’s G20 presidency in 2018. ■