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Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra stated that her country would be willing to engage in a joint fossil fuels exploration project with Britain near the disputed Falklands Islands.
In remarks to what The Guardian published on Thursday, Argentina’s top diplomat under President Mauricio Macri said any energy ventures with Britain would be a “sensible thing to discuss and could make sense.” Doing so would be part of a change in rhetoric from the less diplomatic exchanges under Macri’s predecessor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, towards Britain over the disputed archipelago some 300 miles off the Argentine coast.
“Our claim to the Malvinas will be sustained, but as part of the approach of a good neighbor,” Malcorra said.
“We think over the long term a solution can be found but in the meantime we can and should be respectful, and find ways to open up the opportunities for confidence-building measures. There has been a zero-sum approach, but we think if we sit at the table, and are positive and creative there are alternatives,” she added.
Her remarks came days prior to British Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan’s visit to Buenos Aires where he is scheduled to meet with a U.K. business delegation.
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Macri has pushed for stronger diplomatic ties with Britain, and last January, met with then-prime Minister David Cameron. Macri at the time also reaffirmed Argentina’s claim over the Falklands, but expressed his desire “to begin talks about that issue, and in the meantime find the ways to cooperate.”
Current British Prime Minister Theresa May last month acknowledged the improvement of relations between her country and Argentina, yet she urged the Macri admiration to eliminate restrictions against oil exploration around the Falklands. Malcorra replied by calling the ties between Argentina and Britain “important in our integration with the world” and proposed eliminating “restrictive hydrocarbon measures” approved by Argentine legislators during the Kirchner regime.
By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com
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Erwin Cifuentes is a Contributing Editor for Southern Pulse Info where he focuses on politics, economics and security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.…