14 October 2012

Report of the Argentine Government on the militarization of the South Atlantic by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Argentine Republic is once again compelled to alert the international community, through the principal organs of the United Nations, to the growing British militarization of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, which are part of Argentine national territory and, as they are illegally occupied by the United Kingdom, are the subject of a bilateral sovereignty dispute recognized by the United Nations. 

The Argentine Government has repeatedly stressed that this growing British militarization is contrary to the search for a peaceful settlement to the sovereignty dispute and constitutes an affront to the entire region, creating unnecessary tension in the South Atlantic. 

The Argentine Government’s concern has recently increased owing to statements made and decisions adopted by the British Government that are clearly provocative in nature and that result in the creation of a situation in the South Atlantic that is desired by neither Argentina nor the region. 

The statements made to Parliament by Prime Minister David Cameron on 18 January 2012 cannot be interpreted otherwise, as he referred to the Malvinas Islands military forces and said that he had convened the National Security Council to discuss this issue. This was accompanied by statements from the Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence, Nick Harvey, who also addressed Parliament on 16 January 2012, boasting that the Malvinas Islands military base has substantial military resources, including air, sea and ground forces, which can be reinforced, if necessary. 

On 15 January 2012, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, spoke along the same lines when he added a reference to the recent modernization of the military airport of the islands. On 1 February 2012, Julien Brazier, a member of the Defence Committee of the British House of Commonsdescribed the recent British military deployment as a “very powerful and timely” message to Argentina.

Argentina has information that, in the  context of the recent British military deployment in the Malvinas Islands, refers to the dispatch of a nuclear submarine with the capacity to transport nuclear weapons to the South Atlantic. Argentina, as well as other countries of the region acting at its request, has sought information from the United Kingdom regarding the transportation of nuclear weapons to the South Atlantic. 

The United Kingdom has refused to provide any information that would serve to confirm or deny that fact, which is a serious matter affecting countries with which it seeks to maintain normal diplomatic relations. 

Such conduct, which has also occurred in the past, has served to increase the Argentine Government’s concern at this military escalation. 

Read the full report here.

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