The conflict unleashed in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over sovereignty over the Falkland Islands intensified earlier this month, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the war. An explanatory report on the reasons for the defeat at the hands of the British came to light when the Argentine Ministry of Defense digitized it and made it accessible for online consultation. This was made in July 1994 and declassified by the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
A new scandal has been unleashed after the statements of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, Alan Duncan. In his memoirs he explains that he signed an agreement in 2016 with Carlos Foradori, Vice Chancellor during the Macri administration. The pact committed Argentina to “remove all the obstacles that would limit the economic growth and development” of the Malvinas.
Foradori admitted that he was so drunk that he did not remember what he had conceded.
The uproar was caused by learning that Foradori was under the influence of alcohol while negotiating with Duncan. “As bottle after bottle moved from the cellar wall to the table, the negotiations got better.” The former British official said that, the day after those negotiations, Foradori admitted that he did not remember anything because of the alcohol. Given such a stir, the National Foreign Ministry has launched an internal investigation to determine the veracity of the testimony of the former minister of the United Kingdom and specify the “possible breaches of the duties of a public official.”
The remembered joint pact signed by the Macri government, with Susana Malcorra as chancellor, was highly celebrated by the British administration and garnered the rejection of a wide political and social arc in Argentina, for which Foradori had to give more than one explanation before the Congress.
The Foradori-Duncan Agreement involved, among other things, the collaboration of his country with trade, fishing, navigation and the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the islands, as well as allowing the establishment of “additional air connections between the Malvinas Islands and third countries”, in addition to the “establishment of two additional monthly scales in the Argentine continental territory, one in each direction”. Namely, it implied recognizing and consolidating British colonialism in the archipelago.
Now the memoirs of former Minister Duncan revealed that not only did the Macri government relegate the historic claim for national sovereignty over the Malvinas, but the official who signed it did so under the influence of alcohol.
The Foradori-Duncan Pact
The meeting took place on September 12, 2016. In his memoirs entitled In the Thick of It: The Private Diaries of a Minister, whose fragments spread in the last hours the medium Declassified UKDuncan recounts that the night he reached a “historic” agreement, he met with the UK ambassador to Argentina, Mark Kent: “Under the embassy residence there is a fabulous cellar, very well lit, with walls lined with bottles of Merlot. The setting is quite nice for a meeting and it was there that we met Carlos Foradori, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
“At about 2 in the morning we shook hands with a general agreement,” Duncan described. But not only that; the next day he added that “Mark Kent says that Foradori just phoned to say he was so drunk last night he couldn’t remember all the details. Like a true Briton, Mark reminded him of what he had agreed to, faithfully and without embellishment. So I think we’re still on the right track.”
that way it was how the UK government managed, In the words of the former British official, “the first positive joint statement since 1999, covering trade, security and the opening of new airlines to the Falklands. A truly historic agreement”, as defined in his memoirs. He was not alone in praising the pact. Duncan also says that at the Investment Forum in Argentina he had “a brief meeting with President Macri, who gave his blessing” to the agreement.
According to the aforementioned medium, Foradori tried to deny Duncan’s memories. “What he describes there is completely fanciful”, would have been the words of Malcorra’s former number two.
Given the magnitude of the scandal, the chancellor santiago cafiero ordered to initiate an internal investigation to determine the veracity of the statements of the former British Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth of Nations for Europe and the Americas. The measure, reported the Foreign Ministry, was ordered with the aim of specifying whether or not there was a breach of the duties as a public official and “of the provisions established in the organic law of the Foreign Service of the Nation 20,957 in the signing of the Foradori-Duncan agreement “.
The pact began to be relegated with the change of government in December 2019. The administration of the ‘Frente de Todos’ carried out a series of actions to “nullify all practical matters and subsequent agreements that derived from the joint statement issued in September 2016”, detailed the Secretariat of Malvinas, Antarctica and the South Atlantic, led by Guillermo Carmona. “Regarding the flights, despite numerous attempts by the Argentine government to present initiatives aimed at a greater connection between the Argentine mainland and the Malvinas Islands, the British government took advantage of different excuses for not advancing in the negotiation and it seems have chosen to prevent any real and concrete progress in the sense of allowing a direct flight from the Argentine mainland to the Malvinas Islands”, detailed the Secretariat.
“Sovereignty over the Malvinas was not a concern of Mauricio Macri”
Once the story of the former UK Foreign Minister became known, Daniel Filmus, Minister of Science and Technology and former Secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, wrote a column in Page 12 in which the lack of interest of the management of Cambiemos on the Malvinas Islands stands out.
“The reading of the private diary of Alan Duncan does nothing more than provide a personal testimony and put in evidence what we Argentines already know and have been denouncing for a long time. The recovery of the exercise of sovereignty over the Malvinas, like everything that concerns our autonomous decision-making capacity as Argentines, was never a concern for the government of Mauricio Macri. Drunk or not, they were not willing to defend the sovereignty and interests of 45 million Argentines, “said Filmus.