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Falklands Sceptic Over Argentina’s Flight Proposal

Last Thursday Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, made a surprise proposal to the Falkland Islands that the country’s flag carrier commence commercial flights to the islands that are under British control.  Fernandez wants to renegotiate the 1999 accord that allows the Chilean airline LAN fly to the islands once a week.  Instead, she is proposing that Aerolineas Argentina take over the route.  However, the past few months have seen diplomatic tensions rise as the 30th anniversary of the Falkland War is coming up in April, a war that saw Britain and Argentina fight over ownership of the islands.  With Fernandez’s proposal on the table a Falklands’ Assembly is in doubt as to whether or not they can trust Argentina.

Roger Edwards, a spokesperson for the assembly, said that the Argentinian President’s remarks were made despite the fact that the country has been aggressively trying to economically isolate the Falkland Islands.  In light of this he said it is difficult to trust them now with access to the islands, their home.  Edwards cited a recent ban on Falkland-flagged ships that was led by Argentina and was put into effect at ports in countries that belong to the Mercosur trade bloc.  This includes ports in Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay as well as Argentina.

Britain has said that they will only enter into negotiations with Argentina if the citizens of the Falkland Islands want it to happen.  The current flights to the islands from Chile enter into Argentinian airspace.  The future of these flights is in question based on past friction between Argentina and Britain and the current tension that is in play.  Jens Hentschke, professor of Latin American history and politics at Britain’s Newcastle University, does not think the islanders will take well to the proposal due to the broader issues that exist.

See the original Google News article for more details.


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