Cristina Kirchner has accused the UK of “taking Argentine resources” and ignoring UN resolutions as she called for renewed talks about the future of the Falkland Islands.
9:27AM GMT 21 Dec 2011
Mrs Kirchner prompted renewed tension over the long disputed islands when she launched an attack on the UK at the Mercosur summit of South American leaders in Montevideo, Uruguay.
She said: “Malvinas [Falklands] is not an Argentine issue, it is a global issue because they are taking our energy and fishing resources out of the Malvinas and when they require more resources – and those of you who have resources think about this – they who have (armed) forces will go and seek out those resources wherever and however they see fit.”
Almost 30 years after Argentina and Britain went to war over the archipelago as a matter of national pride, the Falklands now lie at the centre of a dispute regarding the mineral-rich waters that surround the islands in the South Atlantic.
Although she stopped short of calling for sovereignty to be handed over to Argentina, Mrs Kirchner was direct in attacking the UK over a perceived failure to discuss the future of the islands.
“The United Kingdom is a permanent member of the UN Security Council yet they do not respect a single, not a single resolution. We are not asking them to come here and recognise that the Malvinas are Argentine but what we are saying is for them to comply with the United Nations, sit down and dialogue, dialogue, dialogue,” she said.
The attack prompted the Mercosur countries – which include Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela – to agree on Wednesday to close ports throughout the region to ships flying the flag of the disputed islands.
The presidents of the countries agreed ships flying the Falklands flag “should not dock in Mercosur ports, and if that were to happen, they should not be accepted in another Mercosur port”.
The Foreign Office said it was “very concerned” by the decision.
“We are very concerned by this latest Argentine attempt to isolate the Falkland Islands people and damage their livelihoods, for which there is no justification,” a spokeswoman said.