On April 26-28, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Government conducted military operations in unlawfully occupied Argentine territory, including the launching of Rapier missiles from the Malvinas Islands.
These military operations constitute an unjustified demonstration of force and, once again, disregard the various resolutions adopted by the United Nations and other international organizations calling on both Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute between both countries in relation to the Question of the Malvinas Islands.
The Argentine Government denounced this situation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization. On 6 April, upon learning that such operations were to be conducted, the Argentine Government submitted a vigorous protest note to the British Government.
Therefore, in keeping with the obligations and responsibilities of Argentina in terms of navigation security in the Southwest Atlantic, and within the framework of the International Maritime Organization and the International Hydrographic Organization, the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service broadcasted the relevant notice to safeguard Argentine sovereignty rights, so that the unlawful British military exercises do not endanger maritime traffic around such military operations.
These military operations prove once again that the illegal occupation of the Malvinas Islands is an excuse to maintain a disproportionate military base. It currently has 1200 troops in Monte Agradable and 300 civilians that provide support services. The Malvinas Islands are one of the most militarized territories in the world, taking into account the number of military personnel per capita.
British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) are disproportionate in view of the Argentine Government's persistent willingness to talk and its wish to resolve the territorial dispute through peaceful means. In addition, the British military deployment in the South Atlantic is consistent with the political guidelines of the recent British Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy which intends to keep an active presence in places of interest that are considered to be strategic.
This military deployment in a peaceful and nuclear-weapon-free area is affecting Argentina as well as regional and other countries that have expressed their concern in multiple statements. In particular, the military presence and the missile launch are contrary to Resolution 41/11 of the General Assembly (Zone of Peace and Co-operation of the South Atlantic), which, among other provisions, calls upon states of all other regions, in particular the militarily significant States, to scrupulously respect the region of the South Atlantic as a zone of peace and co-operation, especially through the reduction and eventual elimination of their military presence there.
The Argentine Government has also stressed that the United Kingdom’s insistence on conducting military exercises in the South Atlantic specifically contravenes Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly and holds the UK Government liable for any damage derived from this new operation contrary to the Resolution which calls on both parties to refrain from taking decisions that would imply introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the Islands are going through the negotiation process recommended by the resolution.
In response to this new hostile act, the Argentine Republic continues to reaffirm its permanent and constant willingness for both parties involved in the sovereignty dispute to negotiate.