Bitter row over Falkland Islands as officials seek ban on British flights to the territory

PMQs: Johnson slams opposition over Falklands reaction

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The province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic is considering taking action against any British or other private company operating in the self-governing British Overseas Territory, according to a report from South America. Gustavo Melella, Governor for Tierra del Fuego, urged Chile to “no longer assist Britain” in the usurpation of the Malvinas Islands.

He said: “I don’t understand why we still have an ambassador in a country that has usurped part of our territory.”

Mr Melella advocated that “beyond the discourse and ideology, we hope that the government of Chile will no longer assist Britain”.

According to Gazeta Norte, Mr Melella went onto reference Mercosur, a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994.

He said: “If they ask to fly to Chile, if they ask to fly to Uruguay, if they ask to fly to Brazil, they should not provide assistance to Britain in anything related to the occupation of the Islands.

“We have a dismembered Mercosur and that shows the weakness of a region.

“No country is unaware of the legitimacy of the struggle for the recovery of the Islands, but in practice they do something else.

“The established agreements are not respected.

“There is a lot of difficulty in relations between the governments of the region, and Great Britain is taking advantage of this.”

He also called on other Latin American countries, including Brazil, not to allow this type of connection in order to “get Britain out of the comfort zone in which it finds itself”.

Brazil allows British planes to use its airports on their way to the Falklands Islands.

Mr Melella added: “The objective we should all have together is to put the British in a not so comfortable position.”

He continued to “denounce” the militarisation of the islands and urged for “more voice in favour of the vindication of our sovereignty”.

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The governor added: “Malvinas is a cause for all of us.

“There is a part of our territory that has been invaded.”

His comments come after reports of an unusual increase in RAF flights to Malvinas.

Argentina and Britain fought a war in 1982 for dominance of the archipelago, in which the South American country was defeated.

The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on June 14, returning the islands to British control.

In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.

Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Argentina were restored in 1989 following a meeting in Madrid, at which the two governments issued a joint statement.

In 1994, Argentina adopted a new constitution, which declared the Falkland Islands by law an Argentine province.

However, the islands continue to operate as a self-governing British Overseas Territory.

Last year, tensions between Argentina and the UK reached boiling point after the Latin American country issued sanctions to two British companies.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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