Comment - AGREEMENT - Side Letter

I  Introduction

United Kingdom and Argentine delegations met in London on 13 and 14 July in a constructive and friendly atmosphere, to continue the dialogue begun in London on 26 and 27 May and continued in New York on 2 July.  The United Kingdom delegation was led by the Secretary of State, Robin Cook, and the Argentine delegation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Worship, Guido Di Tella.  The United Kingdom delegation included members of the Falkland Islands Legislative Council.

The two Ministers recalled the Joint Statements made by the United Kingdom and Argentine delegations in Madrid on 19 October 1989 and 15 February 1990, which made possible the normalisation of relations between the two countries, and the re-establishment of successful co-operation in the bilateral sphere.  They agreed that the formula on sovereignty in paragraph 2 of the Joint Statement of 19 October 1989 applied to this Joint Statement and to its consequences.

They welcome the improved understanding and degree of reconciliation in the bilateral relationship marked by the exchange of visits of the President of Argentina in October 1998 and HRH The Prince of Wales in March 1999.

The two parties reached agreement on the following points.

II  Access and Air Services

1.  Argentine citizens will be able to visit the Falkland Islands, on their own passports.  This provision applies equally to Argentine citizens travelling by air and sea.

2.  Full support for the immediate resumption of direct scheduled civil air services between Chile and the Falkland Islands by Lan Chile or any other carrier agreed between the Parties.  From 16 October 1999, these services will include stops in mainland Argentina, where they will be able to take on and discharge passengers, cargo and mail.

3.  The possibility of flights between the Falkland Islands and third countries was welcomed with the option, from 16 October 1999, of making stops in mainland Argentina.

III  Fishing

In the light of the shared commitment to the maintenance and conservation of fish stocks in the South Atlantic, existing levels of cooperation between the United Kingdom and Argentina will be enhanced.  In this context officials will meet shortly to consider the question of the relative stability of fish stocks, poaching, and other questions related to it and to recommend coordinated programmes of practical measures with the objective of putting them in place before 9 October 1999.

IV  Confidence Building

1.  With a view to the further development of reconciliation and mutual understanding: a memorial to members of the Argentine armed services killed in action in 1982 will be constructed at the Argentine cemetery in the Falkland Islands.

2.  The Argentine Government is prepared to look at the question of toponomy in the Falkland Islands.  To that end it will continue to consult the appropriate national institutions.

3.  As the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of Argentina agreed in October 1998, the two Governments will continue to work together to evaluate the feasibility and cost of clearing the land mines still present in the Falkland Islands.

V  Procedures

1.  The implementation of the arrangements detailed in this joint statement will be recorded in an exchange of letters between the two Governments.

2.  The Governments will jointly send the text of the present statement and the accompanying letters, in English and Spanish, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for distribution as an official document of the General Assembly under the appropriate item of the Agenda of the next regular session.

3.  This joint statement, as well as the arrangements deriving from it, will be kept under review by the two Governments.

The document was signed by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook for Britain and by Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella for Argentina.  Two Falklands Councillors, Michael Summers and Sharon Halford, who were technically members of the British delegation, signed as witnesses.

Note (by the Editor of the Falkland Islands Newsletter of the Falkland Islands Association) - The word toponymy (not toponomy) in the Joint Statement is the study of place names.  The reference to it in Article IV.2 is an undertaking by the Argentines to remove the offensive names that were imposed on the Falklands during the Argentine occupation in 1982, the best known of these being the name "Puerto Argentina" for Stanley.


Introduction, Geography, Government, Governors, Royal Visits, Census, 1995 Declaration, 1999 Agreement, Listed Buildings, Acronyms

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