Monday, 1 March 2010

Conflict in the South Atlantic

Great Britain, Argentina, and the Falkland/Malvinas Islands: The saga continues.

Geological surveys have indicated a possible motherlode of oil in the vicinity of the Islands that could make Falklanders very rich indeed. Inevitably the The U.K awarded licenses for oil exploration, and the Argentine government are not happy bunnies.

It's a complex emotive issue. One that's has been unresolved since James Onslow evicted pre-Argentine settlers from the islands in the 1830's. The Argentines have been continuously frustrated in their attempts to negotiate a settlement, and it must kill the Kirchner administration -who apparently made recovery of the islands a part of their platform- that the British could be in for a bonanza, of what they must see as filthy lucre gained by robbing Argentina.

My feeling is that the Argentine government needs to feel that they're respected, and their interests treated as legitimate enough for discussion. Given the history of the dispute I'm more than a little sympathetic to this position. But in order to counter this kind of emotional appeal, the British are likely to impute Argentine calls for serious negotiations to the possible revenues involved. Unless the Argentine government is able to seriously disrupt surveying/extraction operations, I don't see the British government becoming more open to changing its policies any time soon.

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