UK and Argentina agree to offshore Falkland Islands cooperation

Britain and Argentina announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to co-operate on trying to make it easier for oil and gas companies to work in waters around the Falkland Islands, according to the BBC.

The agreement follows high-level talks in Buenos Aires involving Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri, the country’s Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and UK Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Macri’s predecessor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had pressured British and US oil companies to dissuade them from drilling and required vessels travelling through Argentine waters to the islands to seek prior permission first.

But Macri has said he is seeking “a new kind of relationship” with Britain.

While the Falklands are officially a British Overseas Territory, Argentina has long held a sovereignty claim over the islands in the South Atlantic.

The dispute boiled over into war in 1982 when Argentina’s military occupied the islands and the UK sent a huge naval task force to successfully liberate them after a three-month conflict.

This agreement is a sign of the thaw in relations between London and Buenos Aires since Macri took office in December 2015.

In June 2015 a judge in Argentina ordered the seizure of $156m of assets owned by oil firms (American and European, including British) working in Falklands waters but the order was never enforced.

The recent talks also covered subjects such as shipping, fishing, trade, security and a project to identify Argentinian soldiers buried on the islands.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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