Falklands power grab: Argentinian minister shamed over 'gimmick' -'Sad they can't move on'


    Andrew Rosindell said regardless of a renewed efforts by Mr Sola and President Alberto Fernandez to put the issue back on the agenda, almost 40 years after the end of the Falklands War, Argentina would “forever be disappointed”. The picture, which is featured in the press photo library on the website of the Argentinian Government, shows Mr Sola about to wear the mask, which features a silhouette of the Falklands imposed on a flag of Argentina.

    In a separate picture, also carried on the Government website, Mr Fernandez himself is shown wearing a similar mask on June 10, the day he sent legislation to the nation’s Congress which together aim to strengthen its sovereignty claims.

    Two Bills, one of them creating a National Policy Advisory Council on Malvinas – the name Argentina gives to the remote archipelago – were unanimously approved last week.

    However, MP for Romford Mr Rosindell said it would make no difference whatsoever.

    He told Express.co.uk: “It would be sad for Argentina if they cannot move on.

    Felipe Sola

    Andrew Rosindell said Felipe Sola’s wearing of the mask was a “gimmick” (Image: Argentina Chancellery/GETTY)

    Andrew Rosindell

    Andrew Rosindell says the question of sovereignty was settled many years ago (Image: GETTY)

    “It’s sad for them and their people that they simply can’t move on from this issue because they will forever be disappointed.

    “There is no resolution to this issue in the way that they want to see it resolved.

    “The people of the Falkland Islands must determine their own future and they have done that in a referendum.

    “They have made it clear for a long time now that they want to stay British, they do not want to fall under the sovereignty of Argentina and they are never going to change their minds and that’s obvious.

    “So it is sad for Argentina that once again they have elected a government which is playing these political games and antics with the Falkland Islands.

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    Alberto Fernandez

    President Alberto Fernandez was himself pictured wearing a similar mask in June (Image: Argentina Chancellery)

    “It won’t get them anywhere – It didn’t get them anywhere before and they don’t see to have learned the lesson.”

    The election of Peronist Mr Fernandez last year appeared to have resulted in a more aggressive approach to the issue, Mr Rosindell said.

    He explained: “The previous Macri government, while wanting sovereignty of the Falklands, had a much more sensible approach in wanting to have more friendly relations and bilateral cooperation and normalised relations with Britain.

    “The new Government in Argentina is clearly going in the opposite direction and they will very quickly realise that that will not achieve anything.

    “It may please the nationalistic tendencies in Argentina, in Buenos Aires, but it won’t change the view of the British Government or the Falkland Islanders.

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    Alberto Fernandez Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

    Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, during the opening session of the 138th period of the Argentine Congress in March (Image: PA)

    Mauricio Macri

    Mauricio Macri, Mr Fernandez’s predecessor, had a more moderate approach, said Mr Rosindell (Image: GETTY)

    Gimmicks like putting a mask on with a map of the Falkland Islands with the Argentine flag – frankly I think it is sad to think that a Foreign Minister would play those antics

    Andrew Rosindell

    “So gimmicks like putting a mask on with a map of the Falkland Islands with the Argentine flag – frankly I think it is sad to think that a Foreign Minister would play those antics.

    “But more importantly, it just hardens our resolve to ensure that there is will never be any discussion about where sovereignty lies, because that matter has been determined conclusively and that won’t change.”

    The United Nations Decolonization Committee – C24 – last week unanimously approved a resolution calling on the UK and Argentina to resume negotiations aimed at finding “a peaceful and definitive solution”.

    However, Mr Rosindell was likewise unfazed by the decision.

    He added: “The UN has actually no power but in any case, the UN is not in a situation where it is siding with Argentina.

    “But I am aware that the UN is an organisation for countries which maybe have a chip on their shoulder about so-called colonialism.

    “We are seeing this at the moment with the Chagos Islands and Mauritius where the UN has taken a particular stand.

    “I am afraid where it comes to the UN getting support for Britain is always very difficult because of our history so they will never take our side.

    “But they don’t have any legal powers to force us to negotiate with Argentina or concede any kind of sovereignty.

    “But it won’t stop them using the UN as a vehicle to try to find some kind of mechanism to try to put Britain in the wrong.”

    Falklands factfile

    Falklands factfile (Image: GETTY)

    New ambassador to London Javier Figueroa is due to start work in London imminently – and Mr Rosindell recalled his previous meeting with Alicia Amalia Castro, who served as ambassador during the regime of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a former President of Argentina who is now Mr Fernandez’s Vice-President.

    He said: “She was spending her time stirring up over the Falkland Islands.

    “In fact, the Argentinian embassy launched a book about the history of the so-called Malvinas which portrayed the Falkland Islands as Argentinian.

    “So I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried the same tricks again.

    “They have a similar sort of Government now but I don’t think they are going to get anywhere with London – only the extremes of the Labour Party are willing to make this an issue.

    Falkland Islands Argentina

    Argentina calls the Falkland Islands the Malvinas (Image: GETTY)

    “I think that the argument that there should be self-determination is one that all mainstream politicians accept in this country – even the SNP.

    “It’s only the hardcore of the Labour Party who think we can do some sort of deal with Argentina but it is not going to happen.

    “I think the war in 1982 really confirmed that.”

    Mr Rosindell, who has visited the Falklands on three occasions himself, added: “British troops fought and died to ensure that those islands are free and remain sovereign and British under Her Majesty the Queen.

    “No British Government would ever relinquish those islands unless the people of those islands made it clear they wanted a change.”

    Express.co.uk has contacted the Argentinian embassy in London to ask about the picture of Mr Sola.


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