Britain and Argentina have been at loggerheads over the Falkland Islands for decades, with both countries staking a claim to it. However, oil and gas contractors and companies now have something to cheer about, with the two nations indicating that they are ready to cooperate.
Recently, Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan visited Argentina to have discussions with several high-level Argentinean politicians, including Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and President Mauricio Macri. This was the first visit by a Foreign Office Minister since 2009.
The discussions were hailed as a success as the two nations issued a joint statement about the Falkland Islands. It was revealed that both countries have agreed to set aside their differences over the islands and work to eliminate the restrictions surrounding the oil and gas industry as well as the fishing and shipping industries. In addition, Britain and Argentina will be working together to identify the remains of those Argentinean soldiers who are interred in the islands.
The UK Government was very clear that the discussions did not have any effect on the sovereignty of the islands. Britain still considers the Falkland Islands as an Overseas Territory and firmly supports the rights of the islanders.
This improvement in the relationship between the two nations will help oil and gas contractors and companies tremendously. Also, it will increase trade, open up opportunities for new investments, strengthen cultural ties, and increase the chances to share science and technology. Britain and Argentina will also be working together to eliminate organised crime and corruption from the region.
Sir Alan stated that the two nations were building a relationship based on matters that they agree on, and this will help the UK and Argentina.
For the 3,000 Falkland Islanders, this cooperation and agreement is good news as it will open up new job opportunities, particularly in the oil and gas sector.