India on Friday reiterated support for international negotiations regarding a territorial matter between Argentina and the United Kingdom in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
Visiting Buenos Aires as part of his three-country tour in Latin America, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar held official discussions on a wide range of topics including the decades old Malvinas or the Falklands territorial issue, and expressed India’s interest in exploring payment through local currencies. The two sides also held talks for enhancing military exchanges and trade in the strategic sectors.
“India reiterated its support to the resumption of negotiations to find a solution to the sovereignty issue related to the Question of the Malvinas Islands in accordance with the Resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly and the Special Committee for Decolonisation,” a ‘Joint Statement’ issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs declared at the end of Mr Jaishankar’s visit to Argentina. Mr. Jaishankar’s presence in Argentina, was a reciprocal gesture by the Government of India following the visit of Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero in April this year. India’s support on the Malvinas, ahead of next month’s session of the U.N. General Assembly indicates at greater India-Argentina synergy across global platforms.
During his visit to India, Mr. Cafiero had launched the ‘Commission for the Dialogue on the Question of the Malvinas Islands in India’. The ongoing bilateral visits and exchanges are significant as these are taking place on the fortieth anniversary of the 1982 Falklands war between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Argentina maintains that the issue of sovereignty of the islands was not settled by the war that led to the strengthening of UK’s control over the region. India has traditionally supported a negotiated settlement of the territorial issue that Argentina is expected to highlight in the coming multilateral events including at the United Nations.
During Mr. Jaishankar’s talks, the two sides “agreed” to explore possibilities for the development of a payment mechanism in local currencies. The move is being viewed as an outcome of the current volatilities that emerged out of the six-month old war in Ukraine. The Joint Statement said such a mechanism would be aimed at “providing companies with an instrument to facilitate bilateral trade, in a framework of mutual benefit.”
Both sides also planned to promote exchange of visits between the armed forces, enhance defence training and “collaboration for joint production of defence related equipment”. Mr Jaishankar acknowledged Argentina’s interest in the “Made in India TEJAS fighter aircraft for Argentine Air Force”. The delegations also reviewed the ongoing bilateral projects in the sectors like defence, nuclear energy, and space. The official discussion covered the area of cooperation between the two countries including the Human Rights Council (HRC) where Argentina is the chair for 2022. The exchange over the HRC is well-timed for India as the country will face the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) next winter.
During the interactions with the senior Indian minister, the Argentine side expressed “strong support” to India’s campaign for membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).