Islas Malvinas: EU signs deal using Falklands’ Argentine name

11 months ago 149

Forty-one years after the Falklands war, the UK has suffered a diplomatic defeat over the archipelago as the EU appeared to endorse the Argentine name for the disputed territory, Islas Malvinas.

Brussels supported an Argentina-backed declaration referring to Islas Malvinas at a summit of EU leaders with Latin America and the Caribbean (Celac) leaders on Tuesday, which Buenos Aires called a “diplomatic triumph”.

On Wednesday, British diplomats requested that the European Council president, Charles Michel, “clarify” the bloc’s position.

However, citing Brexit, an EU official reportedly told the Financial Times: “This was agreed by 27 member states and the Celac countries.

“We cannot issue a statement on their behalf.

“The UK is not part of the EU. They are upset by the use of the word Malvinas. If they were in the EU perhaps they would have pushed back against it.”

The EU official added that “the Argentines have spun it in a certain way”.

Buenos Aires declared it was the first time the EU had officially recognised in a joint declaration the Latin American position on the islands.

The declaration, endorsed by 32 of the 33 Celac countries, with Nicaragua refusing because of language on the Ukraine conflict, states: “Regarding the question of sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands, the European Union took note of Celac’s historical position based on the importance of dialogue and respect for international law in the peaceful solution of disputes.”

In March, the UK government insisted the Falkland Islands were British after Argentina broke a cooperation deal and pushed for talks on the islands’ sovereignty.

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the European External Action Service – the EU’s diplomatic service – said: “The EU member states have not changed their views/positions concerning the Falklands/Malvinas Islands. The EU is not in a situation to express any position on the Falklands/Malvinas, as there has not been any council [of member states] discussion or decision on this matter.”

He added: “The EU does not take any position on such issues without a council mandate.”

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