Chancellor Jorge Faurie has recently revealed that a bilateral meeting had been organized for the first day of the G20 in Argentina between President Mauricio Macri and British Prime Minister Theresa May. They are expected to discuss, among other things, a second flight to the Malvinas Islands that would theoretically connect Cordoba with the archipelago.
The proposed flight route would be made by LATAM airlines once a month and would join Sao Paulo, in Brazil, with the islands, with a stop over in the city of Cordoba.
LATAM is currently the only airline joining the Malvinas with continental Argentina through a flight that leaves Punta Arenas in Chile and stops at Río Gallegos, in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz, before landing at the Monte Pleasant RAF Air Base, 40 kilometers southwest of Puerto Argentino (AKA Port Stanley).
This will be the first time that the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister will have travelled especially to Buenos Aires since the Malvinas War. Tony Blair was the only notable British head of state to set foot in Argentina after the conflict and barely so back in 2001 when he crossed over from Brazil to Puerto Iguazú to hold a meeting with then President Fernando de la Rúa.
Faurie mentioned that the governments had been conferring on the topic since February and both governments had, “put it forward to airlines within Mercosur, to see if there is sign of commercial interest, besides the technical availability”, he also stated that the proposed new flight would comply with “the agreements signed with regard to aviation with the United Kingdom under the sovereignty umbrella in 1999”.
What is the “Sovereignty Umbrella”?
The “Sovereignty Umbrella” is a document under which both nations agreed, during relations that began in 1989, to cooperate on practical issues while maintaining their separate claims to sole possession of the islands. This has enabled the establishment of commercial flights between the Malvinas and Argentina, the construction of a memorial on the islands to the Argentine war dead and collaboration over fishing licenses.
The Foreign minister remarked that, “since Macri came into office, he put special emphasis on generating a bond of trust to enrich [Argentina] with economic co-operation, financial, mutual commercial delegations, and the search for investors who want to come to our country interested in different areas.”
On the other hand, Faurie said also that it was considered, at the Cabinet meeting that “one of the objectives pursued” by him “is to enrich the bilateral relationship with Great Britain and greater trade cooperation,” and added that “we are close to making a decision.”
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This comes at a time where the UK is preparing for Brexit and is amidst negotiations with the EU to move forward and formulate a “divorce plan” and Argentina is preparing to host the first G20 Summit in South America from November 30 – December 1.