Argentina-UK island row continues
Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:53AM
Constanza Heller, Press TV, Buenos Aires
According to a new law passed on March 16th in Argentina, oil and gas explorations are prohibited along the Argentine shelf in the Malvinas or Falkland islands without prior authorization from the national government.
The law boosts fines and sanctions for all companies that are involved in the oil industry on those islands and has led to a diplomatic row with London over a prospective "black gold" bonanza.
Last year the British company Desire Petroleum began drilling for oil in British controlled-waters at the South Atlantic, despite strong criticism from Argentine political leaders.
The Foreign Office in this country has renewed Argentina's sovereignty claim over the Malvinas on several occasions. Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman met earlier this month with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and submitted a claim supported by all members of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR.
The Malvinas or Falklands War was fought between Argentina and the United Kingdom on April 2nd 1982 over the disputed Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Almost one thousand people died during the conflict and tensions between the two nations have continued to grow since then.
The spokesman of the British Embassy in Buenos Aires has told Press TV that “UK is well aware that Argentine legislation does not apply to the Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and that its government fully supports the Islands rights and efforts to develop its own oil and gas industry”.
UK continues to claim that exploration for oil in Falklands is a legitimate right of the British government while president Cristina Fernandez insists on bringing that country to the negotiation table on sovereignty.