Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Falkland Islands: Cameron Chairs National Security Council Summit

It has been reported in various newspapers that the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) amid renewed threats by Argentina that they are ‘plotting a mock fishermen’s invasion’ and, in an escalation of the verbal tempo, David Cameron accused Argentina of ‘colonialism’ in the ‘run-up’ to the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in April 1982.

It is in light of Argentina’s increasingly belligerent stance on the Falkland Islands that ‘contingency plans’ to reinforce the standing military force on the islands have been reviewed by the Ministry of Defence. It is expected that troop reinforcements would be ‘effected’ by air with flights staging through Ascension Island.

General Sir David Richards, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has assured the Prime Minister that Britain can defend the islands.

In response to the plans drawn up by the MoD the Argentine Interior Minister, Florencio Randazzo, stated on 18th January 2012 that “It is absolutely offensive especially in the case of Britain. History clearly shows what its attitude to the world was.”

During the NSC meeting it appears that Mr Cameron was made aware of intelligence that ‘warns’ of a possible landing by Argentine fishermen on the islands and South Georgia to ‘plant’ an Argentine flag – actions reminiscent of the South Georgia landings in 1982 that led to war between the two countries. The Prime Minister was also warned that the Argentine president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, will use the anniversary as the pretext to ‘raise the temperature’ while a Government source stated:

“Kirchner is highly unpredictable. The meeting was designed to make sure we are totally plugged into where the threats might come from. We think there will be a further push at interfering efforts from Argentina.”

Commenting on the NSC meeting the Prime Minister said:

“The NSC discussion was held so we could make sure our defences and everything else is in order. It is important for Britain to send a clear message that as long as people in the Falklands want to remain British, we respect that right of self-determination.

“The reason for holding a National Security Council is to make sure nobody is in any doubt that Britain supports that right of self-determination, and we will go on doing so for as long as people in the Falklands want to continue in that way. I think it is important that everyone understands that.”

Forces currently located on the Falkland Islands include four Eurofighter Typhoons and 150 troops with the Type 23 Duke Class frigate HMS Montrose, offshore patrol vessel Clyde and survey ship HMS Protector patrolling the seas surround the islands.

No comments:

Post a Comment