The United Nations has ruled that the Falkland Islands are in Argentinian waters, giving the country fresh impetus to continue its claims to the British overseas territory.
The decision by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf was welcomed by Argentina, but concern has been expressed elsewhere over control of natural resources in the surrounding waters.
Mike Summers, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, said: “Our understanding has always been that the UN would not make any determination on applications for continental shelf extension in areas where there are competing claims.”
Claims over natural resources came to a head in 2013 when the Argentine Embassy in London issued a statement warning British companies and individuals they face prison sentences of up to 15 years for any oil exploration activity around the island.
Almost 34 years to the day since the Falklands War began on April 2, 1982, tensions have flared again.
Argentina’s foreign minister Susana Malcorra said the “historic” decision “reaffirms our sovereignty rights over the resources of our continental shelf”. The move will increase its waters in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35 per cent.