On the sidelines of the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps, the talk between President Alberto Fernández and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson began with the war in Ukraine – but Argentina’s leader quickly brought up the issue of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands.
"We have a problem, until we solve it we will not be able to make progress on anything, and that is the issue of the Malvinas [Islands]. And we need Britain to sit down and negotiate," Fernández told Johnson.
The UK prime minister immediately tried to close the discussion, assuring that "this is an issue that was resolved 40 years ago."
That comment provoked a response from the Argentine head of state: "No, 40 years ago what happened was a war. Now every year the United Nations says that we have to sit down and negotiate."
Fernández and Johnson had previously seen each other a year and a half ago at the G20 heads of state dinner, but had never sat down for a meeting.
The last time an Argentine leader met with a UK prime minister was in 2018, when Mauricio Macri was president.
Before his meeting with Johnson, Fernández held a meeting with Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, in the Enzian Room at Schloss Elmau.
According to the delegation’s official statement, "they discussed multilateral and regional issues such as the global problem of climate change and the possibilities of strengthening bi-regional dialogue between the organisation based in the Belgian city of Brussels and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), of which Argentina holds the pro-tempore presidency."
The European Union as a bloc is Argentina's third-largest trading partner and main external investor.
Fernández’s second bilateral meeting on Monday in the Bavarian Alps was with German Chancellor and host of the G7, Olaf Scholz.
In this meeting, Fernández once again raised the possibility that Argentina could become a key energy supplier for Germany, something the duo last discussed on May 11 at a meeting in Berlin.