Fernandez upgrades Falklands strategic position; promises to reinforce military presence in southern Argentina
Argentine president Alberto Fernández again claimed sovereignty over the Falklands and other South Atlantic Islands, usurped by the United Kingdom, asking London to comply with international resolutions, since this occupation could limit the flow of vessels between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the access to Antarctica.
Speaking at the annual comradeship dinner with the top brass of the Argentine Armed Forces, head of state Fernandez said our Malvinas, Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime spaces, are illegitimately occupied by one of the world’s leading military powers.
The British usurpation of our territory not only affects the effective exercise of our sovereignty over our Islands, but also the geopolitical position of the South Atlantic, and the capacity for the Islands to act as an operational center to obstruct access to Antarctica, and limit the flow of vessels from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans
Argentina and UK have a long standing dispute over the Falkland Islands sovereignty, with a spat of negotiations in the sixties and early seventies, but it all ended with no results and the Argentine military invasion and occupation of the Islands in 1982.
The best homage we can tribute our heroes from 1982 is to continue claiming full sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands and demand that the UK complies with international resolutions that identify the territorial dispute, and that the solution must be reached by peaceful means through diplomacy, underlined Fernandez.
The president also promised the generals and admirals that Argentina will continue with its policy of modernizing military equipment and better remuneration for the armed forces, a process which will be accomplished during 2023.
He also mentioned the National Fund for Defense, a special item in the national budget created with the purpose of increasing and improving the Armed Forces equipment, which among other things includes some US$ 660 million for the purchase of new fighter/bombers for the Air Force, virtually depleted of any combat capacity since the 1982 war.
We have the firm commitment to strengthen our presence in the South Atlantic and Antarctica, because we know that the future of our next generations lies precisely there, given its strategic and geopolitical values.
Fernandez also mentioned an increase in army recruiting with the purpose of filling vacancies in military barracks in different provinces. The plan is already working in Misiones and Corrientes and we are replicating the experience in other provinces, with soldiers living close to their families, and besides their duties they are encouraged to finish schooling and learn a trade.
He added, we will have better formed, educated military personnel to uphold and defend the values of the fatherland.
For this purpose another initiative is the construction of an integrated Naval Base in Ushuaia, as part of Antarctic Logistic Pole to take advantage of the strategic geographic location and its projection to Antarctica. We already have an integrated joint military outpost which will be complemented with the recovery of the Petrel Base in Antarctica, crucial logistic step of help with the supplying of our other Antarctic bases
Finally Fernandez mentioned the implementation of the 2004 bill for the Air and Space Vigilance and Control System, which includes a chain of radars to improve tracking movements in the extreme south of Argentina.