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7. Telegram From the Embassy in Argentina to the Department of State1

7196. CINCSO also for POLAD. Subject: Malvinas/Falklands Dispute.

1. (U) Foreign Minister Oscar Camilion was questioned sharply on this subject at his airport press conference on arrival from the U.S. October 4. Camilion said he and Lord Carrington had agreed in New York that once certain events have taken place over the coming weeks (meaning the current round of elections in the Islands), a date would be set for resuming the negotiations, perhaps before the end of the year. Asked if it were true, as press accounts from New York suggested, that he and Lord Carrington had also agreed that the Islands could not continue as a “colony”, the Minister asserted his belief in a general “understanding” that “the status quo of the Mavinas can no longer be maintained and now we must negotiate.”

2. (U) The Minister replied to a question on the attitude of the inhabitants of the Islands with the statement that Argentina is committed to respect their interests but will not consult them. In his view, the Islanders have no right to veto in a negotiation that is between the UK and Argentina. According to the press, the Minister became irritated and refused to answer when questioned as to what specific steps the GOA might take to resolve the issue.

3. (C) Comment. HMG’s Ambassador here, Anthony Williams, told me that Lord Carrington made clear to Camilion in New York that the question is not one of respecting the “interests” of the Islanders, but rather of respecting their “desires.” Williams says that the current elections in the Islands seem to be producing an even harder line there. The general sentiment in his understanding is against any more talks whatsoever with the Argentines. Williams nevertheless expects a new negotiating session, if not before the end of the year, in the early months of 1982. But he looks for nothing positive by way of results. In his view HMG has about exhausted its ingenuity, particularly with the idea of ceding sovereignty and then leasing back the Islands. The Argentines, on the other hand, seem unwilling or unable to go beyond saying “the Malvinas are ours.”

He also notes continuing muttering in the GOA about cutting off Argentine air service and supply to the Islands.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D810469–0965. Confidential. Sent for information to London and USCINCSO.