Argentina intends to resurrect the Falkland Islands dispute in India

Argentina’s government will launch a campaign in India on Sunday, calling for talks with the UK to resolve the territorial dispute over the Islas Malvinas, also known as the Falkland Islands in the United Kingdom. The effort coincides with the 40th anniversary of the conflict between the UK and Argentina, which ended with the re-establishment of British rule over the archipelago. It comes two days after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit.

Santiago Cafiero, Argentina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship, will inaugurate “The Commission for the Dialogue on the Question of the Malvinas Islands in India.” Mr. Cafiero is one of the major foreign individuals set to participate in the annual Raisina Dialogue, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Mr. Cafiero argued in an article published on April 2 in The Guardian that the dispute was not resolved with the “cessation of hostilities” in 1982 and called for the restart of bilateral talks. Argentina claims that a territorial issue such as the Malvinas/Falkland Islands cannot be resolved through armed combat.

Resuming the conversation on Falklands

“The Commission seeks to promote compliance with UN resolutions and declarations of other international fora on the Question of the Malvinas Islands, which call for the resumption of negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom,” the event’s organizers said in a statement shared with The Hindu.

Former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu, BJP leader Shazia Ilmi, Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, and seasoned mediator Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee will serve on the Commission. “For many years, India has supported a negotiated settlement of the conflict, and we will continue to support it,” Ms. Ilmi added, referring to India’s historic role in accomplishing decolonization in the Global South.

The event, however, has attracted interest because it is being conducted only two days after Premier Johnson’s visit to Gujarat, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed a wide variety of bilateral and global concerns, including the Ukraine conflict. Similar instances occurred during the Falklands War, which began on April 2, 1982, when Argentine forces attacked the UK-controlled islands. Margaret Thatcher’s government replied by dispatching a naval task group. 

The Falkland war between Argentina and UK

During the late Cold War, the 78-day Falklands War was a one-of-a-kind event involving the United Kingdom and Argentina, and it left lessons in naval warfare that made the French Exocet missiles renowned. Argentina used the French missile to sink the Royal Navy’s HMS Sheffield in May 1982. India has consistently favored a negotiated solution to the Malvinas Question as a post-colonial state.

Official sources said they were aware of Argentina’s plans to raise the Falkland Islands problem at the world level on the 40th anniversary of the conflict, but that there had been no formal contact with the Indian side on Argentina’s plan to establish the Commission in India. “It’s totally their initiative,” a source explained.

The Falklands War is still a touchy subject in the United Kingdom and Argentina, owing to the fact that it resulted in the deaths of hundreds of young military soldiers on both sides. The war over the archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean has become something of a cultural touchstone, and it was recently featured in Season 4 of Netflix’s The Crown, where Gilian Anderson, who plays feisty Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, asks, “How will it possibly end up well if we do nothing?”

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